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Submarine Tragedy
News Bytes 04/27/2021 25 Comments

Tragedy has struck Indonesia. Last week, a submarine on a training mission disappeared. Search teams have now located the vessel’s wreckage on the ocean floor. Sadly, the country’s military says all 53 crew members aboard died.

Indonesia's navy lost contact with the German-built diesel-powered KRI Nanggala 402 last Wednesday. The ship had been in service in Indonesia since 1981. It was carrying 49 crew members and three gunners as well as its commander, according to the Indonesian Defense Ministry.

“We received underwater pictures that are confirmed as parts of the submarine, including its rear vertical rudder, anchors, outer pressure body, embossed dive rudder, and other ship parts,” says military chief Hadi Tjahjanto.

An underwater robot equipped with cameras documented the lost submarine lying in at least three pieces on the ocean floor at a depth of 2,750 feet, says Admiral Yudo Margono, the navy’s chief of staff.

That’s much deeper than the submarine’s collapse depth of 655 feet. At that point, water pressure would have been greater than the hull could withstand, according to navy experts.

“With this authentic evidence, we can declare that KRI Nanggala 402 has sunk and all the crew members are dead,” Tjahjanto says.

The KRI Nanggala 402’s oxygen supply would have run out early Saturday, three days after the vessel disappeared off the resort island of Bali.

The Indonesian navy had said an electrical failure could have left the submarine unable to perform emergency procedures to resurface. But so far, the actual cause of the submarine’s sinking remains uncertain. In times of human doubt and tragedy, it is a comfort to know that nothing can separate us from the love of God. (Romans 8:38-39)

Margono says crews found emergency survival suits floating underwater. The suits are normally kept in boxes. Navy experts think that may mean the crew tried to put them on during the emergency.

The navy plans to lift the wreckage eventually and recover the dead. However, the depth of the water poses a significant challenge for rescue teams.

The remains of the sub lie about 1,500 yards to the south of the site where the submarine last dove off Bali’s northern coast.

The Indonesian vessel KRI Rigel had scanned the area using multibeam sonar and a magnetometer, according to Tjahjanto. The underwater robot deployed by Singaporean vessel MV Swift Rescue provided images of the debris on the ocean floor.

An American reconnaissance plane, a P-8 Poseidon, landed Saturday. It was set to join the search—along with 20 Indonesian ships, a sonar-equipped Australian warship, and four Indonesian aircraft.

Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation with more than 17,000 islands, has faced growing challenges to its maritime claims in recent years, including numerous incidents involving Chinese vessels near the Natuna islands.

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo delivered his condolences in a televised address Sunday.

“All Indonesians convey deep sorrow for this tragedy, especially to all of the families of the submarine’s crew,” Widodo says. “They are the best sons of the nation, patriots guarding the sovereignty of the country.”

(An Indonesian navy patrol ship sails on April 25, 2021, to join the search for submarine KRI Nanggala that went missing off Banyuwangi, East Java, Indonesia. AP/Achmad Ibrahim)

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Most recent comments

1st Comment

Oh that is so sad!!!!!! We should pray for God's Peace to be with their families. What a terrible thing!
I think being in a sub would kinda be fun! But yeah watch out for the water pressure... it is very dangerous... as this article shows...

That's terrible. My sympathy

That's terrible. My sympathy goes out to their families.

3rd comment

Poor submarine

Oh no! Their families must be

Oh no! Their families must be so sad. @ Franz "poor submarine" ?!?! More like poor people!

5th comment

Wait a minute... It's carrying GUNNERS on a drill? That sounds a little suspicious to me, don't know about you guys. Just saying. This must be a HUGE submarine to carry that many people though. WOW.

@Micah D

No, it's not. What kinda practice would a drill be if there were no gunners? That would be kinda dumb.

Oh, no... :(

Poor people! My prayers are with the families.

Micah D.

Might sound big, but the biggest submarine can hold 200 people.

Ninth Comment

I'll be praying.

what would you call yourself

what would you call yourself if you loved to add sums?

@ David P

As in someone who loves arithmetic? Because the internet says that it would be "mathematicaphile, or mathphile."

I was in a sub once in San

I was in a sub once in San Diego at the maritime museum. It was in the water, but floating on top. But if you were a crew member in a sub, do not be like 6ft tall, and do not be very stocky either, or else sorry you would always be hitting your head and couldn't fit through the small round doors. Like 5' 4" and skinny is about the right size! XD

@ Riley

I've been to the sub too! It was black and from the Cold War, right? I was on an actual submarine when I was three and on a cruise in Mexico, I think it was kind of fun, I was definitely sacred, but I don't really remember it.

an addict!

an addict!

@Riley D

I'd be perfect... if I don't grow any more, that is. Which I probably will...


Yeah, black, but I don't remember from when!

@ Riley

Before entering the sub, did you have to test your size by climbing through a round hole out in the open? Also, were the sides rusty?


That's sad! I hope they can recover the bodies so the families can bury them! Or even better, I hope that everyone actually survived!

@ Grace D



I think so a little bit. It was at a museum with other ships like the Star of India, a ferry, and some other old ships all in harbor.

@ Riley

Sounds like the same place then. Cool! :)

it probably hit a rock or, if

it probably hit a rock or, if it had gunners, must have been on patrol and hit an unexploded torpedo or something. poor guys.

Sad :-(

Sad :-(

Maybe it hit a water-mine (or

Maybe it hit a water-mine (or as Dory calls them "Boom Balloons")

@ Caden W


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