As Indonesia searches for sub, many fear it’s too deep to be rescued

  Owen said the submarine could be recovered from 1,640 feet without any damage but couldn’t say if it would have imploded at a depth of more than 2,000 feet. There’s no question that submarine search and rescues are very complex.”   Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton called the incident “a terrible tragedy.” He told Sydney Radio 2GB that fact that the submarine is “in a very deep part of waters” makes it “very difficult for the recovery or for location.”   “Our fervent prayers and hopes go out to the crew of KRI Nanggala, for their safety and resilience,” Singapore’s Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen wrote on Facebook.   The German-built submarine, which has been in service in Indonesia since 1981, was carrying 49 crew members, its commander and three gunners, the Indonesian Defense Ministry said. “They can go deeper than that because they will have a safety margin built into the design, but the pumps and other systems that are associated with that may not have the capacity to operate. A hydro-oceanographic survey ship equipped with underwater detection capabilities also was on its way to the site around the oil spills. In 2019, a fire broke out on one of the Russian navy’s deep-sea research submersibles, killing 14 sailors.   Margono said the oil slick may have been caused by a crack in the submarine’s tank after the vessel sank.   “Most rescue systems are really only rated to about 600 meters (1,969 feet),” he said. The Indonesian military said Australia, the United States, Germany, France, Russia, India and Turkey have also offered assistance. Last year, President Joko Widodo reaffirmed the country’s sovereignty during a visit to the islands at the edge of the South China Sea, one of the busiest sea lanes where China is embroiled in territorial disputes with its smaller neighbors.   “Hopefully we can rescue them before the oxygen has run out” at 3 a.m. Officials reported an oil slick and the smell of diesel fuel near the starting position of its last dive, about 60 miles north of the resort island of Bali, though there has been no conclusive evidence that they are linked to the submarine. As Indonesia searches for sub, many fear it’s too deep to be rescued

April 22, 2021 / 8:01 AM
/ AP

Jakarta, Indonesia — Indonesia’s navy ships on Thursday were intensely searching for a submarine that likely fell too deep to retrieve, making survival chances for the 53 people on board slim. So they can survive at that depth, but not necessarily operate.”   Owen, a former submariner who developed an Australian submarine rescue system, said the Indonesian vessel was not fitted with a rescue seat around an escape hatch designed for underwater rescues.   “The news of the missing submarine is deeply concerning,” Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said during a visit to New Zealand.   The diesel-powered KRI Nanggala 402 was participating in a training exercise Wednesday when it missed a scheduled reporting call. It had maintenance and overhaul work done in Germany, Indonesia and most recently in South Korea, from 2007 to 2012. He said rescuers found an unidentified object with high magnetism in the area and that officials hope it’s the submarine. First published on April 22, 2021 / 8:01 AM   Rescue ships from Singapore and Malaysia are expected to arrive between Saturday and Monday. It was rehearsing for a missile-firing exercise on Thursday, which was eventually canceled. Yudo Margono, told reporters. The Indonesian navy submarine KRI Nanggala-402 sails past during preparations for the anniversary of Indonesia’s military, September 25, 2014 in Surabaya, East Java, Indonesia. 

Anadolu Agency/Getty

The navy believes the submarine sank to a depth of 2,000-2,300 feet — much deeper than its collapse depth estimated at 656 feet by a firm that refitted the vessel in 2009-2012. 

Ahn Guk-hyeon, an official from South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, said the submarine would collapse if it goes deeper than that level because of pressure. He said his company upgraded much of the 40-year-old Indonesian submarine’s internal structures and systems but it lacks the latest information about the vessel. Indonesian navy ships arrive at the naval base in Banyuwangi on April 22, 2021, to join in the search for a decades-old navy submarine that went missing off the coast of Bali with 53 crew aboard during regular exercises. Authorities said oxygen in the submarine would run out by early Saturday.   Indonesia’s navy said an electrical failure may have occurred during the dive, causing the submarine to lose control and become unable to undertake emergency procedures that would have allowed it to resurface. “We will provide any assistance that we can. South Korea said it has also offered help.   Frank Owen, secretary of the Submarine Institute of Australia, also said the submarine could be at too great a depth for a rescue team to operate.   In November 2017, an Argentine submarine went missing with 44 crew members in the South Atlantic, almost a year before its wreckage was found at a depth of 2,625 feet. AFP via Getty

Indonesia’s military said Thursday that more than 20 navy ships, two submarines and five aircraft were searching an area where the submarine was last detected. Beijing steps up presence in South China Sea


The world’s largest archipelago nation with more than 17,000 islands has faced growing challenges to its maritime claims in recent years, including numerous incidents involving Chinese vessels near the Natuna islands.   Neighboring countries are rushing to join the complex operation. on Saturday, Indonesia’s navy chief of staff, Adm. He said a rescue submarine would make a waterproof connection to a disabled submarine with a so-called skirt fitted over the recue seat so that the hatch can be opened without the disabled submarine filling with water.