Washington (CNN) – An unidentified object with 53 crew members was found at the scene of the search for the missing Indonesian submarine. Authorities warn that the oxygen will run out in a few hours.
The Indonesian navy found an object with a “strong magnetic field” at a depth of 50 to 100 meters, Maj. Gen. Ahmed Riyadh, head of the army’s central intelligence unit, told a news conference on Friday.
The Indonesian navy expects its warship Rikuel to reach the search area Friday morning local time, Riyadh added. Riquel is equipped with high-tech sonar, which uses sound waves to locate objects, and the Navy hopes to find the German-made submarine KRI Nangala-402, which lost contact during a military exercise in the Bali Strait early Wednesday morning. Morning local time.
Oxygen remains for a few hours
Indonesian Navy Commander Admiral Yudo Marcono told a news conference on Thursday that there was enough oxygen for all divers until 3am local time on Saturday.
Responding to questions about the condition of the submarine before participating in the war simulation, Marcono said KRI Nangala-402 and its entire crew were well prepared. It was last chopped in 2020 for maintenance in the port city of Surabaya on the island of Java, he said.
The military suspects the oil spill came from an aerial surveillance vessel near the Dive site on Wednesday.
Marcono said there are two possibilities to explain the oil spill found on the surface: the leak could have been caused by the submarine tank sinking too deep, or the submarine releasing fluid in an attempt to rise to the surface.
Indonesian naval spokesman First Admiral Julius Witjojono said the submarine was capable of sinking up to 500 meters above sea level, but was estimated to be 100 to 200 meters deeper than that.
Sending international aid to find the submarine
Australia, Singapore and the United States have sent support to search for the missing submarine, with Australia announcing in a statement on Friday that it would send two ships to the site.
“The HMA Ballarat and Sirius are currently at sea in separate regional deployments, accelerating the search area,” the Australian Defense Department said in a statement on Friday.
Rear Admiral Mark Hammond of the Australian Task Force said his thoughts were with the KRI Nangala Divers, their families and the Indonesian people.
“As always, we are ready to assist our fellow Indonesian naval sailors,” he said.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby tweeted on Thursday that the United States was sending planes to search for the missing Indonesian submarine.
“We are deeply saddened by the news of the loss of the Indonesian submarine. Our thoughts are with the Indonesian sailors and their families,” he said.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will speak with his Indonesian envoy on Friday morning to discuss what the United States can do to help, Kirby said.
Join the search effort to expand U.S. assets. Marcono said three submarines, five aircraft and 21 warships were used to search for the missing submarine. Assets from Singapore and Malaysia also help.