A distressing situation has unfolded in Indonesian waters as the KRI Nanggala 402 submarine, carrying 53 individuals, has gone missing during a training exercise north of Bali. The vessel’s last scheduled reporting call was missed, prompting a thorough search operation by the Indonesian navy.
Scores of ships, including a hydrographic survey vessel, have been deployed, and assistance has been sought from Singapore and Australia, both of which possess submarine rescue capabilities. The preliminary assessment suggests a potential electrical failure during a dive, resulting in a loss of control and the inability to execute emergency resurfacing procedures. It is feared the submarine may have descended to depths between 600 to 700 meters, significantly beyond its recommended safety limits.
French Navy Vice Admiral Antoine Beaussant cautioned that if the submarine rests at such depths, it raises concerns about structural integrity. Reports indicate an oil spill was discovered near the dive’s starting location, further adding to the apprehension.
The submarine was carrying 49 crew members, along with its commander and three gunners, and was engaged in a rehearsal for a missile-firing exercise. The incident unfolds against the backdrop of Indonesia’s strategic concerns in its maritime domain, particularly around the Natuna islands.
The KRI Nanggala 402, a Type 209 diesel-electric attack submarine, has been in service since 1981 and has undergone substantial upgrades over the years. Its disappearance raises questions about submarine safety and the challenges faced in maintaining these crucial naval assets.
As the search efforts intensify, the international community holds its breath, hoping for a safe resolution to this alarming situation.
Our thoughts are with the crew members and their families during this difficult time.