Indonesian military says missing submarine sank

The Missing Submarine Is Feared Lost With All Hands

Indonesia's navy has said items were found from a missing submarine, indicating the vessel with 53 crew members had sunk and cracked open, and that there was no hope of finding survivors.

There were also concerns that the vessel could have broken apart as it sunk to depths as low as 700 meters (2,300 feet) - well beyond the depth it is created to withstand. Gen. Achmad Riad, the head of the military's central information unit, said during a press conference on Friday.

An Australian frigate with sonar capability and a helicopter joined the multinational search operation on Friday.

The KRI Nanggala-402 went missing on Wednesday morning after rehearsing for torpedo drills around 60 miles north of the island of Bali, Indonesia's navy said.

"The object is floating in the water, so maybe it is moving", he said.

Australia's HMAS Ballarat arrived on Saturday with a US P-8 Poseidon aircraft also helping to look for the craft.

"The family is in a good condition and keeps praying", said Ratih Wardhani, the sister of 49-year-old crewman Wisnu Subiyantoro.

Singaporean and Malaysian rescue ships were also expected in the coming days.

U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin is scheduled to speak with Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto on Friday "to convey our sorrow and to discuss how else the United States can be of assistance", Kirby said.

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But even if officials locate the missing submarine, rescuing the crew will pose a serious challenge, said Director Frank Owen of the Submarine Institute of Australia to NBC News. He asked Indonesians to pray for the crew's safe return, while ordering all-out efforts to locate the submarine.

The search focused on an area near the starting position of its last dive where an oil slick was found but there was no conclusive evidence so far the oil slick was from the sub.

The cause of the disappearance is still uncertain. The materials would "not be lifted overboard if there is no outside pressure or a crack occurs in the torpedo launcher", Yudo Margono, the Indonesian navy's chief of staff, told reporters.

There were concerns that the submarine could have been crushed by water pressure if it sank to depths reaching 700 metres - well below what it was built to withstand. The navy has said an electrical failure could have left the submarine unable to execute emergency procedures to resurface. The vessel's collapse depth was estimated at 200 metres (655 feet) by a South Korean company that refitted the vessel in 2009-2012.

One of the people on board was the commander of the Indonesian submarine fleet, Harry Setiawan.

But Saturday's announcement means the Southeast Asian archipelago joins a list of countries struck by fatal submarine accidents.

In 2000, the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk suffered internal explosions and sank during manoeuvrs in the Barents Sea.

And in 2018, authorities found the wreckage of an Argentine submarine that had gone missing a year earlier with 44 sailors aboard.

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