Indonesia in race against time to find missing submarine
DW, 23 Apr 2021
Indonesian navy ships are desperately searching for a submarine that has gone missing with 53 people on board. Authorities say the submarine's oxygen supply will only last until Saturday - prompting fears it could soon be too late to save lives. The navy says the sub has probably sunk 700 meters below the ocean's surface.
It's a race against time and against the ocean's depth. The KRI Nanggala 402 may have sunk too deep to be retrieved. On board are 53 crew members and very limited oxygen reserves.
Searches are focusing on an area about 100 km north of Bali. The submarine was conducting a missile-firing exercise here, when contact broke off. Officials say a power outage may have occurred, causing a loss of control.
Indonesia has deployed several navy ships. Neighboring Malaysia and Singapore have also joined the operation, and other countries are offering help.
An oil spill and a submerged and highly magnetic object in the area of the submarine's last dive have rescuers hoping they're on the right track. But if the submarine has sunk too deep, it may be impossible for the rescuers to operate.
President Joko Widodo said the government is doing everything in its power to get the crew back alive.
Officals say the submarine was in good condition. After 40 years of service in Indonesia, it may have fallen prey to the same waters it's been defending.
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