Rescuers Find Debris Thought to Be From Sunken Indonesian Submarine

An Indonesian navy patrol ship sails to join the search for submarine KRI Nanggala that went missing while participating in a training exercise on April 21, 2021, off Banyuwangi, East Java, Indonesia, on April 24, 2021. (Achmad Ibrahim/AP Photo)

DENPASAR, Indonesia—A missing Indonesian submarine carrying 53 people is believed to have sunk in the Bali Sea after search teams found debris floating around the vessel’s last location, a navy official said.

“With the evidence we found believed to be from the submarine, we have now moved from the ‘sub missing’ phase to ‘sub sunk’”, Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff Yudo Margono told reporters, according to Indonesian media Tempo.

The exact location of the 44-year-old submarine was unknown but its presence had been detected, he said.

Footage of the press conference showed officials holding debris that had been found including fragments of prayer mats and a bottle of grease used to lubricate the submarine’s periscope.

Several Indonesian officials, including Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, posted condolences to the families on social media.

The KRI Nanggala-402 lost contact on Wednesday as it prepared to conduct a torpedo drill.

“We are still carrying out the search … the depth of the sea we have detected is at 850 meters (2,790 feet), which is very tricky and presents many difficulties,” Margono told reporters, adding that he expected the dive taken by the vessel had led to cracks.

Rescuers have sent more than a dozen search helicopters and ships to the area where contact was lost, with the United States, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and India providing assistance.

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