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Search for missing Indonesia submarine continues

Search for missing Indonesia submarine continues”

Indonesia said Saturday that a submarine that disappeared off the coast of Bali with 53 aboard had sunk.

"With the authentic evidence we found believed to be from the submarine, we have now moved from the "sub miss" phase to "sub sunk", Margono said at a press conference.

Indonesia earlier considered the submarine that disappeared on Thursday off Bali as just missing.

The commander of the Indonesian submarine fleet, Harry Setiawan, was one of four people aboard who were not regular crew members, a military official said.

Margono did say the 72-hour time limit referred to a case where the submarine experienced a blackout.

The Indonesian navy expects its warship, the Riguel, to reach the search area Friday morning local time, Riad added.

U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin is scheduled to speak with Indonesian Defence Minister Prabowo Subianto on Friday "to convey our sorrow and to discuss how else the United States can be of assistance", Kirby said.

Even if the submarine were to be located, rescuing the vessel and its crew will be challenging, Frank Owen, director of the Submarine Institute of Australia, told NBC News.

Australia has also deployed a sonar-equipped frigate with a helicopter to help the submarine hunt, while navy officials said vessels are on route from India and Singapore, as concerns grow that the submarine might have been crushed by water pressure.

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There were also concerns that the vessel could have broken apart as it sunk to depths as low as 700 meters (2,300 feet) - well beyond the depth it is created to withstand.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered all-out efforts to locate the submarine and asked Indonesians to pray for the crew's safe return.

The search focused on an area near the starting position of its last dive where an oil slick was found but there was no conclusive evidence so far the oil slick was from the sub.

An object with "high magnetic force" had been spotted "floating" at a depth of 50-100 metres, Indonesian Navy Chief of Staff Yudo Margono said, and an aerial search had earlier spotted an oil spill near the submarine's last location.

The cause of the disappearance is still uncertain.

The submarine, which disappeared as it prepared to conduct a torpedo drill, is created to withstand a depth of up to 500 metres (1,640 ft). "So it could be mid-water and unable to use any electrical power", he said.

That submarine was on manoeuvres in the Barents Sea when it sank with the loss of all 118 aboard.

Most of its crew died instantly but some survived for several days before suffocating. In November 2017, an Argentine submarine went missing with 44 crew members in the South Atlantic, nearly a year before its wreckage was found at a depth of 800 metres (2,625 feet).

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.



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