Indonesia’s military has found the wreckage of a submarine that disappeared off the coast of Bali last week.
Tragically, all 53 crew members on board KRI Nanggala-402 have been declared dead after the vessel was found in at least three parts deep in the Bali Sea.
More items from the submarine were also retrieved, including an anchor and safety suits for emergencies.
Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo sent condolences to relatives of the crew after it was confirmed the vessel’s oxygen supply would have run out early on Saturday.
“We received underwater pictures that are confirmed as the parts of the submarine, including its rear vertical rudder, anchors, outer pressure body, embossed dive rudder and other ship parts,” military chief Hadi Tjahjanto told reporters in Bali on Sunday.
“With this authentic evidence, we can declare that KRI Nanggala 402 has sunk and all the crew members are dead,” Tjahjanto said.
An underwater robot equipped with cameras found the lost submarine lying in at least three pieces on the ocean floor at a depth of 838 metres (2,750ft), said Admiral Yudo Margono, the navy’s chief of staff.
That is much deeper than the KRI Nanggala 402′s collapse depth of 200 metres (655ft), at which point water pressure would be greater than the hull could withstand, according to earlier navy statements.
Adm Margono said emergency survival suits that are normally kept in boxes were found floating underwater, apparently indicating the crew may have tried to put them on during the emergency.
Investigations are underway to determine the cause of the submarine’s sinking, which still remains uncertain.
Navy officials had previously said an electrical failure could have left the submarine unable to execute emergency procedures to resurface.
The wreckage is located 1,500 metres to the south of the site where the submarine last dove on Wednesday, off Bali’s northern coast, Adm Margono said.
Photos of the debris were presented at the press conference.
Mr Widodo delivered his condolences in a televised address.
“All Indonesians convey deep sorrow for this tragedy, especially to all of the families of the submarine’s crew. They are the best sons of the nation, patriots guarding the sovereignty of the country,” Mr Widodo said.
An American reconnaissance plane, a P-8 Poseidon, landed early on Saturday and had been set to join the search, along with 20 Indonesian ships, a sonar-equipped Australian warship and four Indonesian aircraft.
The German-built diesel-powered KRI Nanggala 402 had been in service in Indonesia since 1981 and was carrying 49 crew members and three gunners as well as its commander, the Indonesian Defence Ministry said.
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.