US plane joins hunt for Indonesian sub after air runs out

BANYUWANGI, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia pressed forward with a search for a navy submarine off Bali on Saturday, hours after the oxygen provide for 53 crew members aboard is believed to have been exhausted, with a U.S. reconnaissance plane and different nations’ vessels set to affix the hunt.

There’s concern the KRI Nanggala 402 could have sunk too deep to succeed in or get better in time. It misplaced contact after its final reported dive Wednesday off the resort island, and the navy chief has stated it was anticipated to run out of oxygen early Saturday morning.

“We hold doing the search till we discover it and regardless of the outcome,” Indonesia military spokesperson Djawara Whimbo said.

An American reconnaissance plane, P-8 Poseidon, landed early Saturday and is set to join the search, along with 20 Indonesian ships, a sonar-equipped Australian warship and four Indonesian aircraft.

Singaporean rescue ships are also expected later Saturday, while Malaysian rescue vessels were due to arrive Sunday, bolstering the underwater hunt, Whimbo said.

He said Indonesia’s hydrographic vessel was still unable to detect an unidentified object exhibiting high magnetism that was earlier detected located at a depth of 50 to 100 meters (165 to 330 feet).

“The object is floating in the water, so maybe it is moving,” he said.

Indonesian military, navy and police chiefs are due to hold a news conference later Saturday.

There have been no signs of life from the submarine, but family members have held out hope that the massive search effort would find the vessel in time.

“The family is in a good condition and keeps praying,” said Ratih Wardhani, the sister of 49-year-old crewman Wisnu Subiyantoro. “We are optimistic that the Nanggala can be rescued with all the crew.”

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 is no conclusive evidence so far the oil slick was from the sub.

Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Yudo Margono has stated oil may have spilled from a crack within the submarine’s gasoline tank or the crew may have launched gasoline and fluids to cut back the vessel’s weight so it may floor.

The navy nonetheless, believes the submarine sank to a depth of 600-700 meters (2,000-2,300 ft), a lot deeper than its collapse depth of 200 meters (655 ft), at which water stress could be better than the hull may stand up to.

The reason for the disappearance remains to be unsure. The navy has stated {an electrical} failure may have left the submarine unable to execute emergency procedures to resurface.

The German-built diesel-powered KRI Nanggala 402 has been in service in Indonesia since 1981 and was carrying 49 crew members and three gunners in addition to its commander, the Indonesian Defense Ministry stated.

Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago nation with greater than 17,000 islands, has confronted rising challenges to its maritime claims in recent times, together with quite a few incidents involving Chinese vessels close to the Natuna islands.

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Associated Press author Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, contributed to this report.

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