S'pore Navy dispatches submarine rescue vessel to assist in search for missing Indonesian submarine

The local Navy's MV Swift Rescue was deployed yesterday afternoon.

Ashley Tan | April 22, 2021, 12:24 PM

The Singapore Navy has responded to Indonesia's calls for help to search for a submarine that went missing to the north of Bali.

Swiftly dispatched

The German-made KRI Nanggala-402, with 53 people onboard, went missing while conducting a torpedo drill on Apr. 21.

Contact with the vessel was reportedly lost at 4:30am on Apr. 21.

In a Facebook post on Apr. 22, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen revealed that Singapore had responded to Indonesia's calls for assistance.

The local Navy's MV Swift Rescue was deployed yesterday afternoon, and its crew was accompanied by a medical team in the event that hyperbaric care is required.

The site of the search operations is over 1,500km away, which was why the MV Swift Rescue "sailed off as soon as she could".

Ng added that Indonesia has close military ties with Singapore, "built up over the years of bilateral exercises and engagements".

Ng also extended his prayers and hopes to the crew of the missing submarine, as well as those currently involved in the search.

You can read his post here.

Malaysia has also dispatched a rescue ship.

Update on the missing submarine

Reuters reported on Apr. 22 that an oil spill was found near the submarine's dive location. Two navy vessels with sonar capability had been deployed to assist in the search.

The navy said that an oil slick could indicate damage to the vessel or could be a signal from the crew.

Indonesian Navy said in a statement today:

"It is possible that during static diving, a blackout occurred so control was lost and emergency procedures cannot be carried out and the ship falls to a depth of 600-700 metres."

The KRI Nanggala-402, which is powered by electric diesel engines, can only sustain a depth of up to 500m while submerged, according to CNN.

The seas in that area can be more than 1,500m deep.

According to Jakarta Post, nations including "the United States, Australia, France and Germany have offered help".

Top photo from Ng Eng Hen / FB