Countries from around the world are chipping in to help find Indonesia’s missing naval submarine

Indonesia submarine rescue
Indonesian navy ships arrive at the naval base in Banyuwangi on April 22, 2021, to join in the search for the submarine. (AFP via Getty Images)
  • An Indonesian naval submarine went missing on Wednesday off the northern coast of Bali.
  • Countries from around the world are offering support to help locate and rescue the crew.
  • Time is short: The sub was only equipped with 72 hours of oxygen and may be too deep for rescue.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Countries from around the world are sending reinforcements to assist in the search for a Indonesian naval submarine that went missing on Wednesday.

The 53-person crew was participating in a torpedo drill north of Bali but failed to relay the results of the drill, an Indonesian Navy spokesperson told Reuters. Hadi Tjahjanto, the commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, said the submarine lost contact with the military at 4:30 a.m. local time on Wednesday.

Several rescue ships from Malaysia and Singapore are due to arrive in the region sometime between Saturday and Monday, according to the Associated Press. Singapore’s defense minister said a medical team was added to one of its rescue ships.

Other countries, including the United States, France, Germany, Russia, Turkey, and South Korea, also offered aid to the Indonesian military.

Rajnath Singh, the Defence Minister of India, said in a statement that he sent the Indian Navy’s Deep Submergence Rescue Vessel and the Indian Air Force to scope out the area to see if a rescue would be possible.

-ANI (@ANI) April 22, 2021

But the submarine may be unsalvageable if it descended too deep into the sea. The Indonesia navy believes the sub sank to a depth of 600 to 700 meters, but experts previously told Insider that most rescue crews and systems cannot operate past 600 meters.

“They can go deeper than that because they will have a safety margin built into the design, but the pumps and other systems that are associated with that may not have the capacity to operate,” Frank Owen, the secretary of the Submarine Institute of Australia, told the AP. “So they can survive at that depth, but not necessarily operate.”

Oxygen aboard the submarine is scarce and every hour spent looking for the submarine is one less hour of available breathable air. The submarine used in the training operation, the German-made KRI Nanggala-402, was only equipped with 72 hours of oxygen, Indonesian officials reported.

That would mean the crew could run out of air by early Saturday morning local time, which would be Friday evening ET.