Singapore: It’s the terrible outcome that was feared inevitable when a submarine vanished off the coast of Bali three days ago.

Indonesia’s navy on Saturday announced that debris from its missing KRI Nanggala 402 submarine had been found in the search area.

The KRI Nanggala stopped responding at about 3am on Wednesday, Indonesian time.

With 53 personnel on board – 49 crew men, three gunners and the commander – the submarine has been declared lost, a national tragedy for Indonesia and for the families of the sailors.

The submarine disappeared in the early hours of Wednesday during a diving manoeuvre that was part of a training exercise.

“In last few days we found debris and things from the sub [near where] it was about to dive,” navy chief Admiral Yudo Margono said.

“These are believed to be the components attached to the sub and will not come out from the sub without any pressure from the torpedo. They are floating.

“We are convinced they belong to the KRI Nanggala 402. These things do not belong to common people, were within the radius of 10 nautical miles [of where the submarine last made contact] and there were no other vessels sailing.”

The navy believes the submarine has sunk to a depth of 850 metres below the surface, way beyond its maximum operating capacity of 500m, but they will continue the multinational search and rescue effort, which has been aided by two ships from Australia.

“We are preparing medical evacuation for the crews who may still possibly be safe,” Margono said.

More to come.

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