Indonesian Navy via AP
The wreckage of a lost Indonesian submarine has been located, according to the country’s military. The KRI Nanggala 402 went missing early Wednesday morning during a training exercise near Bali.
The Indonesian navy said Saturday that it believed the ship had sunk and its crew of 53 were dead, an assessment later confirmed with underwater photos of the wreckage.
“With this authentic evidence, we can declare that KRI Nanggala 402 has sunk and all the crew members are dead,” said military chief Hadi Tjahjanto, according to a translation by The Associated Press.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo addressed the nation Sunday. “All Indonesians convey deep sorrow for this tragedy, especially to all of the families of the submarine’s crew,” Widodo said, per the AP report. “They are the best sons of the nation, patriots guarding the sovereignty of the country.”
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin offered his condolences to the Indonesian military before today’s announcement, calling the loss “tragic” and offering thoughts and prayers to the families of the sailors.
The cause of the wreck has not been confirmed. According to Indonesian Adm. Yudo Margono, the submarine was located in at least three pieces on the ocean floor at a depth of nearly 3,000 feet — far deeper than the submersible’s so-called “collapse depth” of 655 feet.
Margono said the navy would work to recover the submarine and the dead, though it will be challenging in the deep waters. Officials reportedly said the Indonesian government would work with an international group, the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office, on recovery efforts.
The wreckage was roughly a mile from where the submarine was last seen during its training exercise. The navy has previously said an electrical failure could have prevented the vessel from resurfacing.