The diving operation has been suspended from 1 p.m. local time on Wednesday.
The suspension has been made since research vessel Baruna Jaya IV is conducting a seafloor mapping exercise using a remotely operated underwater vehicle at the aircraft’s crash site, he said adding, the exercise will take place from 1 p.m. Wednesday to 5 a.m. Thursday.
While the underwater mobile device is deployed, a diving operation cannot be allowed in view of divers' safety, he explained, adding that the Navy's diving operation would resume at 7 a.m. local time on Thursday.
The National Transportation Safety Commission (KNKT) revealed earlier that Baruna Jaya has been roped in for the operation to retrieve the crashed Boeing 737-500 jet's black boxes.
Around 4:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday, the plane's flight data recorder was retrieved by Navy divers from the seabed. It was found lying about 23 meters below the water surface.
The FDR device of the aircraft, which was carrying 50 passengers and 12 crew members on board when it crashed into the ocean on January 9, 2021, has been handed over to the KNKT.
Regarding the air accident, Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, said the crash has prompted the government to look into improving the domestic aircraft maintenance system.
"This is a tragedy. Hence, in my opinion, we will continue to improve the maintenance of our aircraft," the minister remarked at the online launch of the Proud of Indonesian Products movement on Monday.
Pandjaitan condoled the deaths of the crash victims and led prayers for them at the event.
The Transportation Ministry had earlier confirmed that airport authorities had lost contact with the Sriwijaya Air flight, serving the Jakarta-Pontianak route, around 2:40 p.m. local time on Saturday (January 9, 2021).
According to the ministry, the last contact with the Boeing 737-500 jet, bearing the registration number PK-CLC, was made at 11 nautical miles north of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, after the aircraft crossed an altitude of 11 thousand feet and was ascending to 13 thousand feet.
The plane took off from Soekarno-Hatta Airport at 2:40 p.m. local time on Saturday and was scheduled to land at Supadio Airport in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, at 3:50 p.m. local time. (INE)
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