Chinese Navy lifts the life raft of sunken Indonesian submarine

A photo taken by a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) shows the Sunken Indonesan submarne's life raft of sunken Indonesian Navy submarine KRI Nanggala-402 in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, May 18, 2021. (Source: Indonesian Navy)

The Indonesian Navy has lifted a life raft and other fragments belonging to the sunken Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala-402 with the assistance of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy, in the vicinity of Bali.

At a televised press conference on Tuesday (18 May), Chief of the Indonesian Navy’s 2nd Fleet Rear Admiral Iwan Isnurwanto said the Chinese research vessel “Explorer 2” has retrieved a 700 kg life raft from the seafloor near Bali.

“Vessel Tan Suo Er Hao (Explorer 2) succeeded in lifting the KRI Nanggala’s life raft. We have kept it well as evidence that the ships from our friendly country had carried out their duties, ” Iwan Isnurwanto told during the media briefing.

“Vessel Tan Suo Er Hao succeeded in lifting the KRI Nanggala’s life raft. We have kept it well as evidence that the ships from our friendly country had carried out their duties. The life raft was buried in the mud before being retrieved. No other major parts have been lifted yet, such as the bow section, sail section, and stern section.” Isnurwanto added.

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China’s rescue vessel Tan Suo Er Hao (Explorer 2)

Other objects lifted by the Chinese vessel included the submarine’s antenna, the torpedo cable protector on the vertical rudder, the hydrophone in the bow, and the guidebook.

During the operation, Explorer 2 also found a mud-covered crater with a diameter of 38 meters and a depth of up to 15 meters near the location where the submarine sank, he said, adding that the Chinese vessel focused on the crater and extended the search with sonar as it is muddy and dark in the water.

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Underwater Search Vessel

The Indonesian Navy has been coordinating with the Chinese side to continue the lifting process.

KRI Nanggala-402 sank in the waters north of Bali on April 21 with 53 people aboard, including 49 crew members, one commander, and three arsenal personnel. The submarine, which has been used by the Indonesian Navy for about 40 years, sank at a depth of 838 meters under the sea.

The accident occurred when the submarine was in the middle of a training session to carry out torpedo firing. The exercise was aimed at fostering the operational readiness of soldiers and units in the Bali waters.

Here is the video of the rescue operation;

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