Families mourn crew of lost Indonesian submarine

2021-04-26 15:20:16 GMT2021-04-26 23:20:16(Beijing Time) Sina English


People throw flowers and petals with names of the sunken KRI Nanggala-402 submarine crew members from the boat during a prayer at the sea near Labuhan Lalang, Bali, Indonesia on Monday.

Grieving relatives gathered on the seashore in Indonesia's island Bali on Monday to pay their respects to the sailors who perished when a naval submarine sank, urging the authorities to bring up their bodies from the depths.

But experts say it will be a daunting task to lift the submarine to the surface from the deep water, requiring specialized salvage equipment.

A spokesperson for the country’s navy said a retrieval operation was still being discussed with experts and international organizations.

“We will analyze the underwater pictures and video, the current etc to decide the technology that will be used,” First Admiral Julius Widjojono said.

A sonar scan detected at least three parts of the submarine at a depth of 850 meters, far beyond the doomed Nanggala’s diving range.

Relatives of crew member I Gede Kartika congregated at Celukan Bawang on Bali’s north coast on Monday. Some carried incense and flowers as they clutched framed photographs of him in his naval uniform. Others rowed out to sea to scatter petals in the water.

“We have already given our son to the government. Now that he has fallen in this operation, we hope the government will return his remains to us after all the official ceremonies,” said his uncle Wayan Darmanta.

Family members of another lost crew member also gathered at the port of Banyuwangi, which is home to the naval base on Java island where the Nanggala was stationed, to pay their respects.

President Joko Widodo offered his condolences to the relatives and pledged the state would fund the education of the dead sailors’ children.

An international search and rescue effort involving aircraft and specialized naval vessels, including from Singapore, Australia and the United States, had raced against the clock to find the submarine in case it was still intact and before oxygen ran out.

But on Sunday Indonesia’s military chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto confirmed the Nanggala had sunk and all crew had died.