JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy) has joined the search for the Indonesian Navy submarine KRI Nanggala-402, nearly two weeks after the ship sank with the loss of its 53-man crew off the northern coast of Bali on Wednesday, April 21.
The Indonesian Navy’s [TNI AL] Information Service or Dispenal said the PLA Navy has sent three salvage ships to help retrieve the KRI Nanggala-402 off the sea where it sank to a depth of 838 meters.
“The PRC Navy Ship Ocean Tug Nantuo-195 and PRC Navy Ocean Salvage and Rescue Yong Xing Dao-863 has arrived in Bali on Sunday,” said the Indonesian Navy on Monday, May 3. “A third vessel, the Scientific Salvage Tan Suo 2, is still on the way to Indonesian waters.”
The Indonesian Navy added that the vessels are well equipped to find KRI Nanggala-402.
“The PRC Navy Ocean Salvage and Rescue Yong Xing Dao-863 is equipped with robots and side scan sonar boat rescue equipment, while the PRC Navy Ship Ocean Tug Nantuo-195 is capable of salvaging operations to a depth of 4500 meters.”
The Indonesian Navy said the PLA Navy sent the ships after Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Xiao Qian offered the aid to Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto, who accepted the offer
The PLA Navy units will join other ships with similar deep water capabilities to find the submarine, such as the Singaporean Navy submarine rescue ship MV Swift Rescue and Indonesian oil and gas company SKK Migas vessel Timas 1201, which has a 1200 metric ton crane to scour the deep.
The United States Navy also aided in the search for KRI Nanggala-402, by sending a P-8 Poseidon anti-submarine aircraft to seek out the boat. The Indonesian Navy plans to salvage the submarine and the remains of its crew.