KOMPAS.com – The Indonesian military has confirmed that the submarine KRI Nanggala-402 has sunk off the northern coast of Bali, days after it lost contact with the Second Fleet based in Surabaya, East Java on Wednesday, April 21.
"The KRI Nanggala-402 was subsunk [sank] following a 72-hour search,” said Indonesian military chief Air Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto on Saturday.
“The live support oxygen on the submarine [in case it blacked out] would only have lasted until the early hours of [Saturday, April 24]. Our findings are based on an oil spill and debris which is proof that the submarine has sunk.”
Also read: Time is Running Out for Efforts to Find Missing Indonesian Submarine
Military investigators identified the debris as parts of a torpedo tube, wraps for coolant pipes, and submarine lubricant, as well as personal goods such as prayer mats.
Indonesian Navy [TNI AL] Chief of Staff Admiral Yudo Margono reiterated Hadi. “The items are enough proof to change the KRI Nanggala-402’s status from submiss [missing] to subsunk.” However, he still held out hope.
“We have reason to believe that KRI Nanggala-402 did not experience a blackout when it lost contact and sunk off Bali. The last visual [of KRI Nanggala-402] by [Indonesian Navy] Kopaska frogmen saw that the ship’s lights are still on,” he said in Denpasar, Bali.
“If the power is still on in KRI Nanggala-402, then it has enough oxygen for at least five days. But the submarine has experienced cracks as it descended to 700-800 meters,” he noted.
“There is a possibility that water will seep in through the cracks, though other compartments of the submarine still remain watertight, especially if the crew closed the watertight doors.”
He noted that the submarine was detected at a depth of 850 meters, further than its designed maximum depth of 500 meters.