The Indonesian Navy submarine, the KRI Nanggala-402, which went missing during a Wednesday military exercise in the Bali sea, was found today (April 25, 2021) with all crew members presumed dead. In total, there were 53 people aboard.
Indonesian military chief Air Marshall Hadi Tjahjanto told reporters that rescue teams finally spotted the missing vessel earlier today.
"With this authentic proof, we can confirm that KRI Nanggala 402 has sunk and all of its 53 sailors have died on duty," Tjahjanto told a press conference. He continued by noting that it appears that the ship had cracked into at least three pieces.
Earlier in the week, Indonesia had reached out for help from its neighbors, Singapore and Australia, in hopes of finding and rescuing the sailors alive. As the hours ticked by, the United States and other countries joined in the frantic search, attempting to locate the vessel before the ship ran out of air
The Indonesian Ministry of Defense said the KRI Nanggala-402 failed to maintain contact amid a torpedo drill in the Bali Strait. Before disappearing and losing contact on the day it went missing, the submarine requested permission to dive at 3:00 AM local time (3:00 PM EDT).
Following that, an oil spill was seen at roughly 7:00 AM local time (7:00 PM EDT) by aerial surveillance near where the submarine dove, and it was strongly suspected to be from the submarine itself. Needless to say, this was not a good indication, as experts noted that the oil could have been released when the ship imploded. It was assumed that the ship lost power and sank in an area that was far too deep for the vessel to remain intact.
Earlier on Sunday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo offered his condolences to the families of those lost in the accident.
Segala upaya terbaik untuk pencarian dan penyelamatan awak KRI Nanggala 402 telah dan masih kita lakukan.— Joko Widodo (@jokowi) April 25, 2021
Doa dan harapan terbaik bagi 53 putra terbaik bangsa ini, para patriot penjaga kedaulatan negara. Bagi segenap anggota keluarga, kiranya diberikan kesabaran dan kekuatan. pic.twitter.com/Hg1MITUHhy
"The army and navy have changed the status of the KRI Nanggala 402 submarine from having lost contact to being 'sub-sunk' or drowned," Joko told reporters. "All of us Indonesians express our deep sorrow over this tragedy, especially to the families of the submarine crew."
Search teams are continuing their efforts in an attempt to find and recover the bodies of the crew.