The Indonesian navy began the search operation on Wednesday after losing contact with a submarine with 53 men on board, off Bali, where an oil spill was seen.
And the Indonesian Ministry of Defense announced on Wednesday evening that he had been seen in the area where the last signal sent by the submarine was recorded.
“At around 7 am, helicopter inspections revealed an oil slick at the site where the submarine sank,” the ministry said in a statement.
The submarine KRI Nanggala 402 was to participate in maneuvers, including the launch of a torpedo. He had requested permission for him to dive early Wednesday morning, around 3 am (7 pm GMT).
“After the authorization was sent, the submarine lost contact and could not be reached,” the defense ministry said.
Jakarta has sent warships to the region and has sought help from the Marines in the area.
“Several countries have responded and are ready to help, including Singapore, Australia and India,” the ministry said.
Indonesian Armed Forces Commander Hadi Tjiganto told AFP that the submarine might be 700 meters north of Bali.
French Vice Admiral Antoine Busan told AFP that such a building could drop to less than 250 meters, “which is a safety factor imposed on the submarine.” But he added, “If it is placed at an altitude of 700 meters, there is a high probability that it will be broken.”
The Indonesian Navy, which has sought in recent years to enhance its submarine capabilities, has a fleet of five submarines in total, built in Germany and South Korea.
The KRI Nanggala 402 was built in Germany in 1978, according to a government website, and has been later updated. It is a diesel submarine.
Indonesia has never before experienced serious submarine accidents, but many other countries have experienced fatal submarine accidents in the past.
The Kursk precedent
In 2000, the nuclear-powered submarine Kursk, the main ship of the Russian Northern Fleet, sank during maneuvers in the Barents Sea (northwestern Russia), killing 118 of its crew.
One of the torpedoes exploded, completely destroying the stock of ammunition and sending the building to a depth of 110 meters. 23 sailors survived the blast but were killed because they were not rescued in time.
In 2017, the submarine of the Argentine fleet of San Juan, with 44 sailors on board, disappeared 400 km off the Argentine coast.
An underwater explosion was recorded near its last location.
In 2019, the wreck of the submarine La Minerve, which sank in 1968 with 52 men on board, was found in the Mediterranean Sea.
This submarine of the French Navy, which carried out maneuvers about thirty kilometers off Toulon (southeast France), sank in just four minutes and crashed onto the sea floor for reasons that have not yet been proven.