Indonesian navy looks to salvage remains of submarine

The Indonesian navy says it is trying to work out how it can salvage the remains of a submarine from the bottom of the Bali Sea and retrieve the bodies of the 53 sailors who died, according to Reuters.

The submarine was found broken into at least three parts, four days after it lost contact.

Experts say it will be a daunting task to lift the submarine to the surface from the deep water, requiring specialised salvage equipment.

A spokesman for Indonesia’s navy says a retrieval operation is being discussed with experts.

“We will analyse the underwater pictures and video, the current etc. to decide the technology that will be used,” says First Admiral Julius Widjojono.

A sonar scan detected at least three parts of the submarine at a depth of 850 metres (2,789 ft), far beyond Nanggala’s diving range.

President Joko Widodo offered his condolences to the relatives and pledged the state would fund the education of the dead sailors’ children.

The submarine was found by Indonesia’s Rigel warship which scanned the area with sonar and a magnetometer, Indonesia military commander Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto told CNN. The MV Swift Rescue ship from Singapore then sent a remote operated vehicle (ROV) to get clearer underwater visual imagery.

“We found and confirmed an image of Nanggala submarine parts, like horizontal steering, anchor, exterior body, vertical steering, and other submarine parts like safety suits for crew.”

It was found at a depth of 850m and had broken into three parts, says Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Yudo Margono.

Among the objects found by the search team was a submarine escape immersion suit.

“This suit is only used to escape in emergency situations. Normally it is stored inside the box, but since we found it outside we believe that the crew were going to wear it but they had no chance,” says Margono.

He believes “this is not a human error, but a natural/environment factor” but did not give further details.

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