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Indonesian rescue teams have also called for a search of the ship and the 53 people who went missing 24 hours ago, with experts expressing concern over the possible consequences of the shipwreck on Thursday.

KRI Nanggala-402 was driving a fire brigade north of the island of Bali when it happened lost connection around 3am Wednesday morning (20:00 GMT Tuesday). According to an Indonesian Navy internal report, seen by Al Jazeera, a signal of distress was sent by Indonesian officials to the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO) on Wednesday afternoon. ISMERLO oversees the worldwide search and rescue operation and the Singapore military and the Australian military responded to the casualties, according to the report.

“Singapore has a special submarine submarine along with the Deep-Submergence Rescue Vessel (DSVR) for complex rescue operations. Indonesia has no equal opportunity, ”Collin Koh, a researcher at the S Rajaratnam School of International Study in Singapore who specializes in military and maritime security, told Al Jazeera.

“The two countries signed a maritime rescue agreement in 2012, so the agreement was requested. The MV Swift Rescue is on track, although it may help to rely on the first depending on the ship’s current location, seas, seas and above all to inform pilots. There is no political objection. Contrary to what happened in 2000, the Russian Kursk submarine sank and Moscow initially refused foreign aid until it was too late. That is why time is so important. “

Deep Shipwrecks, operated by sailors from countries including Singapore and the US, are essential for rescuing ships [File: Terry Cosgrove/US TC/JD via Reuters]

Singapore has a similar underwater rescue alliance with Australia, South Korea, Vietnam, the United States and India.

An Indonesian military report also reported that oil was discovered around 7am (00:00 GMT) Wednesday after a helicopter was sent to the final site of the KRI Nanggala-402, although it was not confirmed if this was related to a possible submarine.

“Marine pollution in local waters is common, with ships exiting oil and other hazardous substances into the water illegally,” Koh said. “While we recognize the loss of the wreckage, it also depends on the damage to the boat. This requires special equipment to use the boat to locate the boat, connect with it and monitor the requirements. ”

Lack of water protection

Natalie Sambhi, director of Verve Research, a multidisciplinary research collective in charge of Southeast Asian military, told Al Jazeera that the incident underscores Indonesia’s need to take control of its operations, based on weapons and its troops, airmen and the group.

“Given the age of some Indonesian military platforms, this is not entirely surprising but disappointing,” he said. “It could be very painful at a time when Indonesia really needs strong security at sea. China, in particular, has increased the number of countries in the Southeast Asia Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), against Indonesia and especially in the Philippines in the latter part.”

Indonesia previously had 12 submarines, although it now operates five, two of which, including the KRI Nanggala-402, are built in Germany. The other three are South Korean ships. There are also plans to buy more ships from South Korea by 2024, although Sambhi said this is urgently needed to be given to Indonesia by the largest island nation in the world.

“The navy is one pillar to protect itself at sea, plus others as marine patrols but five ships on such a large island are not enough,” he added.

The country has more than 17,000 islands, and water disputes have intensified in recent years, mainly with China whose fishing vessels have been found operating illegally in Indonesian waters.

Saving is difficult

In an “Interim Analysis” published in the internal report, the Indonesian military suggested that a blackout could occur on the KRI Nanggala-402 which prevented the ship from steering or summoning emergency measures including an emergency button that would allow the submarine to rise again.

The report also said that the submarine was reported to have fallen to between 600 and 700 meters (1,968 – 2,296 feet) and that a slight oil presence may indicate damage to the oil tank or cracks due to water.

Anxiety is growing for the KRI Nanggal-402 group seen here on the battlefield in Surabaya, Indonesia’s second-largest city [File: Indonesian military via AFP]

The KRI Nanggala-402 had 53 people according to a Navy report, including 49 personnel, the chief of staff and three of the arsenal and is led by Marine Lt Col Heri Octavian.

A former British naval officer and naval officer, speaking to Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity, said some of the possible causes of the KRI Nanggala-402 crash include a torpedo explosion or weapons, a collision with a submarine or object, oxygen failure, flooding rainfall or structural failure.

“The wreckage must have sunk in this way and, as the oil detected on the surface, could have a detrimental effect on the environment, especially since the vessel was old, built in 1977 and handed over to the Indonesian army in 1981.”

He added that the depth of the submarine could make any rescue difficult.

“It is very difficult to save the stagnant water as is the case with the dumping bell that is lowered and attached to the escape, which is not possible if the submarine is at a distance of 700 meters. [2,296 feet], ”He said.

“I don’t trust this group.”


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