Rescuers detect strong magnetic force at site of missing submarine

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's warship KRI Rimau detected an object, with strong magnetic force, within the search area in the seas north of Bali, a spokesman of the Indonesian Military (TNI) Maj. Gen. Achmad Riad stated here, Friday.

"There is an object with strong magnetic force. Hopefully, its position would not change, and we would trace it," Riad noted at the Ngurah Rai Air Base, Badung, during a press briefing on developments in the search operation for the submarine KRI Nanggala 402 that went missing in the seas, north of Bali.

Earlier, on Thursday (April 22), Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Yudo Margono revealed that KRI Rimau had detected an object, with high magnetic force, floating at a depth of 50-100 meters, at the location where the submarine, with 53 crew members aboard, went missing.

The finding will be followed up by KRI Rigel that is scheduled to arrive at the location on late Friday, Riad revealed.

The search and rescue operation is, so far, still focused in the northern waters of Bali, he confirmed. "It is still at 65 miles, north of Bali waters," Riad stated.

The navy's submarine KRI Nanggala 402, with 53 crew members on board, lost contact on Wednesday (April 21).

Rescuers found some clues, including oil spills, allegedly from the missing submarine.

According to Riad, the TNI will optimize the search operation on Friday and deploy all its ships, with the capability of underwater object tracking by using sonar before the submarine runs out of oxygen.

According to military authorities, the submarine had three days' worth of oxygen on board in blackout conditions. The submarine lost contact at 3 a.m. local time on Wednesday, and its oxygen supply would only suffice until 3 a.m. local time on Saturday.

The TNI has deployed 21 warships, including the KRI Alugoro submarine, to locate KRI Nanggala 402.

The Indonesian Police has deployed four ships to support the operation. Rescue ships from other countries, including those from Malaysia, Singapore, India, and Australia, will join the operation.

"All forms of help will be accepted. We have to run against time," Riad stated.

Contact with the German-made KRI Nanggala-402, carrying aboard 53 sailors, was lost while it was preparing for a torpedo drill in the Bali waters.

The missing submarine was officially inducted into the navy in 1981.

The 209/1300-type submarine was built in Germany's Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft. Its propulsion system deploys a Siemens low-speed diesel electric motor, connected directly to the propeller shaft, which generates some five thousand shaft horsepower.

The electrical power is stored in batteries, which constitute 25 percent of the vessel’s weight, according to the navy. Four MTU diesel supercharged engines generate electricity in the vessel.

Source: Antara News

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