The search parties looking for the missing Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala have found debris believed to come from the submarine, Indonesian officials said Saturday.
Nanggala has been missing since April 21 and officials believe that even if the submarine was to be found now, the 53 crew onboard would have run out of oxygen.
Speaking to reporters on April 24, Indonesian Armed Forces Commander Hadi Tjahjanto said the agencies found debris that proved the submarine went down.
The debris included fragments of the boat’s thermal insulation sheet, as well grease that is used for the periscope’s lubricant. Parts of a torpedo launcher, prayer mats and and fuel was also found at the spot where the submarine was believed to have gone down. The sea in the area is around 850 meters deep, deeper than the submarine’s maximum diving depth, which various reports put between 300 and 500 meters.
Over the four days of search efforts, a number of countries responded to Indonesia’s call for help, including Singapore, Malaysia, India, the US and Australia.
Officials have ruled out an explosion as the possible cause of the sinking, meaning that the submarine likely experienced a technical malfunction.
Indonesian Navy Chief Yudo Margono said the service was now preparing to switch from a search and rescue to a recovery effort. He added that no signs of survivors or bodies had been detected so far.