A worrying sign that there is no hope that Bali’s military submarine is missing

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There is a grim fear that 53 sailors aboard a missing military submarine will not be found alive because of the depth at which the ship sank.

The submarine – with 49 crew members, the commander and three gunners – has not been seen or heard from as it carried out a torpedo drill in waters north of Bali since Wednesday.

The KRI Nanggala-402 ship lost contact after being cleared to dive and could have sunk to depths of between 600 and 800 meters, well below its safe operational levels.

More than 400 rescuers on board two warships have searched for the missing ship.

The hunt for Nanggala-402: Rescuers prepare to search from Bali for a search mission that leaves 53 submarine crew members missing

The submarine performed a torpedo drill in waters about 60 miles north of the island of Bali

The submarine performed a torpedo drill in waters about 60 miles north of the island of Bali

Navy spokesman First Admiral Julius Widjojono said the diesel-powered submarine could only sustain depths between 250 and 500 meters.

Navy spokesman First Admiral Julius Widjojono said the diesel-powered submarine could only sustain depths between 250 and 500 meters.

A helicopter discovered an oil spill where the submarine was believed to have submerged Wednesday morning, pointing to potential damage and fueled fears in the Southeast Asian country of disasters.

Although the KRI Nanggala 402 may have several days of oxygen reserve, defense analysts warned that the ship could break to pieces if it sank to a depth of 700 meters.

The Navy spokesman, First Admiral Julius Widjojono, said the oil spill “could indicate damage to the submarine’s body.”

Widjojono said the diesel-powered submarine could only withstand depths between 250 and 500 meters.

“More than that can be pretty deadly and dangerous,” he said.

Australia has responded to Indonesia's request for help with the search mission (shown Wednesday evening)

Australia has responded to Indonesia’s request for help with the search mission (shown Wednesday evening)

Widjojono said the search teams were focused on an area around the oil spill, but the exact location of the ship had yet to be determined.

Widjojono said the search teams were focused on an area around the oil spill, but the exact location of the ship had yet to be determined.

Widjojono said the search teams were focused on an area around the oil spill, but the exact location of the ship had yet to be determined.

On Wednesday, the Navy said the submarine may have sunk to great depths.

“It is possible … there was a blackout that prevented the ship from being controlled and emergency procedures initiated, causing it to drop to 600 or 700 meters,” he said.

Antoine Beaussant, a French Navy Vice Admiral, said the submarine was not built to withstand those depths.

“If it had crashed at 700 meters, chances are it would have broken up,” he told AFP.

Frank Owen, secretary of the Submarine Institute of Australia, also said the submarine could be too deep for a rescue team to operate.

“Most rescue systems actually only have a range of about 600 meters,” he said.

They can go deeper because they have a safety margin built into the design, but the pumps and other systems that go with them may not have the capacity to operate. So that they can survive at that depth, but not necessarily operate. ‘

The Indonesian government has sought help from Australia and Singapore to find the missing submarine.

“We are clearly very concerned about these reports. It is very disturbing for families and especially for the Indonesian navy, ” said Foreign Minister Marise Payne on Thursday.

“We have very different submarines than this one, but the Australian Defense Force and Australian Defense Organization will work with defense operations in Indonesia to determine what we can do.

The German-made submarine, KRI Nanggala-402 (file photo of the submarine), is missing with 53 people on board

The German-made submarine, KRI Nanggala-402 (file photo of the submarine), is missing with 53 people on board

“We will support our neighbor in every possible way.”

Defense Secretary Peter Dutton described the incident as a terrible tragedy, saying that deep waters at the site would make recovery very difficult.

Submarine rescue expert Frank Owen said the ADF could provide a remote-controlled vehicle to map the ocean terrain.

“If it’s in the depths of the water, there’s little they can do to actually get the people out,” he told the ABC.

“The only way to get the people out is to save the submarine, which is a long process.”

Independent Senator Rex Patrick, a former submarine, expressed deep concern but said he believed there was still hope.

“This is a chilling reminder of how dangerous submarine service can be,” he said.

Senator Payne said the search and rescue of submarines would be a complex task.

“Those submariners and their families need all of our thoughts and prayers,” she said.

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