Indonesia said it will save a submarine that sank off the coast of Bali. AP Photo
BALI: Indonesia He said Friday that he will save a submarine which sank off the coast of Bali, as grieving family members paid their respects to the dozens of crew members who died in the disaster.
Authorities had yet to confirm whether they would attempt to lift KRI Nanggala 402 from the seabed, after it was discovered broken into three pieces. The navy said on Friday it was awaiting the arrival of two ships, including one sent by China, which are equipped to handle deep-sea salvage operations.
High-powered magnets and air balloons were among the possible options, but how and when the cracked submarine would surface was unknown, Navy Chief Yudo Margono said. “It is difficult to talk about the specific moment, but I can say that as soon as help arrives, we will start,” he told reporters.
The 53-member submarine crew is believed to be still inside the ship, Margono said.
An underwater rescue vehicle supplied by neighbors Singapore gave visual confirmation that the German-built submarine was lying on the sea floor more than 800 meters (2,600 feet) deep. The creepy footage was the final confirmation that there was no hope of finding survivors.
On Friday, the families of the victims threw flowers from a Navy ship into the waters where the submarine sank as part of a remembrance ceremony.
The submarine, one of five in the Indonesian fleet, disappeared last week while scheduled to participate in live torpedo training exercises. The crew asked permission to dive. He lost contact shortly after.
Later, search teams detected an oil spill where the vessel was thought to have submerged, pointing to possible fuel tank damage and a catastrophic accident.
The military has yet to offer an official explanation for the sinking of the decades-old submarine, which was delivered to the Southeast Asian nation in 1981.
However, he has said that the reconditioned vessel was in seaworthy condition and ruled out the possibility of an explosion. The Navy has said that the submarine may have suffered a blackout and left the crew unable to take emergency measures.
Its hull would have broken when it sank to depths far below what the KRI Nanggala was built to withstand, they said.
The former commander of the submarine, Rear Admiral Muhammad Ali, has told local media that an alleged wave of internal isolation could have been to blame. The natural phenomenon occurs when different sea depths come together, creating forces that could have dragged the ship down, he said.