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Indonesia's Navy Finds Pieces From Missing Submarine, Suggesting It Has Sunk

Rescuers will still attempt to evacuate possible survivors.
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Since Wednesday, April 21, Indonesia has been racing against time to find and rescue 53 sailors from a submarine that has gone missing after it test-fired torpedoes off the coast of Bali. The KRI Nanggala-402, a diesel-electric submarine, would have depleted its oxygen supply today, April 24. 

On April 22, authorities reported seeing an oil spill in the area where the submarine was last recorded. They could not confirm whether it was from the submarine. 

But grim news greeted the nation today, April 24. 

Speaking at a news conference, Indonesia’s Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Yudo Margono confirmed the submarine had sunk, based on items found near its last location. 

Among the items that were recovered and have been confirmed to be from the sub are prayer rugs and part of the submarine’s torpedo straightener, and a grease bottle believed to be used to lubricate the submarine's periscope

“With the authentic proof believed to come from the Nanggala, we are escalating the status from a sub-miss to sub-sunk phase,” said Margono said. “Sub-miss” means missing submarine, while “sub-sunk” means the submarine has drowned or sunk. 

Submarine Detected at Impossible Depth

According to Margono, the search and rescue teams have detected the submarine at a depth of 850 meters. It is nearly impossible to survive at such depths, and military submarines can only dive to a depth of 300 meters.

Despite the dire odds, Margono said rescue teams will still try to locate and evacuate the 53 crew in the sub. 

International teams of rescuers have offered to help with the operations, including Australia, Germany, Russia, and the United States.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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