Indonesia’s Navy said Saturday it found debris from its lost submarine, indicating the vessel with 53 people aboard sank in a deep area of the Bali Sea.
Search crews have been searching for the German-made submarine, KRI Nanggala-402, since it went missing Wednesday about 60 miles north of Bali as it descended to conduct torpedo drills, military officials said.
The Nanggala was built to withstand pressure of up to 500 meters deep, but sonar indicated it sank to a depth of 850 meters, which is referred to as “crush depth,” which would fracture the steel hull of the submarine, an American newspaper reported.
The debris was found floating at a location where the Bali Sea was 850 meters deep, Indonesia Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Yudo Margono said at a news conference.
Among the debris were sponges, pieces of a Muslim prayer mats and bottles of grease used to lubricate the submarine’s periscope, which were inside the submarine, but no crew members have been found, Yudo said.
Yudo added that the condition of the debris indicated that the submarine had not exploded, but cracked under pressure exerted from depth.
The Indonesian navy has changed the status of the submarine from missing to sunk, according to Yudo.
Military officials said on Friday the Nanggala was expected to run out of oxygen early Saturday.
Indonesian warships, airplanes and a helicopter have been scanning the waters for the ship. A KRI Rigel 993 vessel equipped with high-tech detection capabilities deployed to the site Friday, and Australia and the United States dispatched vessels to join the search.
The 1,400-ton sub was built in the late 1970s and refitted in South Korea in 2012. Some of the debris found Saturday had Korean writing on it, indicating it was from the sub, according to an American newspaper.
Col. Harry Setywan, commander of Indonesia’s five-vessel submarine fleet, was among the people on board the sunken sub. SOVEREIGNPH