This mission's main priority is saving the 53 submariners
Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo has asked the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) to do their utmost to locate and rescue submarine KRI Nanggala-402, which went missing near Bali on Wednesday.

"I have ordered the TNI commander, the navy chief of staff, and Basarnas to work closely with other related agencies to do utmost efforts in their search and rescue (SAR) mission," he said on the Presidential Secretariat's Youtube channel here on Thursday.

Contact with the German-made submarine, which was carrying 53 submariners on board, was lost while it was preparing for a torpedo drill in the waters north of Bali, according to Military Commander, Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto.

"The last contact (with the submarine) was made at 4:30 a.m. local time (on April 21, 2021). There was no more contact when the torpedo drill was to be conducted," he informed earlier.

President Widodo said Tjahjanto and the Indonesian navy chief of staff are leading the SAR mission on the ground.

"This mission's main priority is saving the 53 submariners," he said while urging the families of the sailors to remain patient and wait for the outcome of the SAR efforts.

Widodo also appealed to the entire nation to pray for the safety of the submariners and for the success of the search efforts.

After the submarine went missing, the Indonesian Navy sent out a distress call to the International Submarine Escape and Rescue Liaison Office (ISMERLO).

The navies of several countries, including Australia, India, and Singapore, responded and offered to help search for the missing submarine, the Indonesian Defence Ministry informed.

Singapore has sent its MV Swift Rescue, while Malaysia has dispatched its Rescue Mega Bhati to join the search for KRI Nanggala-402 in Bali Island's waters, it added.

The missing 209/1300-type submarine was built in Germany's Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft in 1977, and was officially inducted into the navy in 1981.

Its propulsion system uses a Siemens low-speed diesel electric motor, connected directly to the propeller shaft, which generates about five thousand shaft horsepower (shp).

The electrical power is stored in batteries, which make up 25 percent of the weight of the vessel, according to the navy. Four MTU diesel supercharged engines are responsible for generating electricity in the vessel. (INE)

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Translator: Desca LN, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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