Indonesia’s military and family members paid their last respects today to the 53 submarines that died when their ship sank while torpedo drilling off the coast of Bali.
Mourning relatives and ceremonial sailors were seen throwing flowers into the waters off Bali from the Navy’s Soeharso hospital ship.
The KRI Nanggala 402 disappeared shortly after going below the surface during torpedo fire exercises last week. An official cause has not yet been established.
Authorities have vowed to rescue the submarine from the ocean floor but are awaiting the arrival of a Chinese naval vessel capable of hauling objects from a distance of 3,000 feet.
High-powered magnets and balloons are among a number of options on the table, but how the 1,400-tonne missile-laden submarine will be brought to the surface remains unclear.
Relatives and colleagues throw flowers to pay tribute to the crew of a sunken submarine KRI Nanggala during a ceremony aboard the Indonesian naval ship KRI Soeharso in the waters off Bali
Families of the sunken submarine crew members of KRI Nanggala-402 mourn on the deck of the Indonesian Navy’s KRI Soeharso in the northern waters off the island of Bali during a visit to the site of the crash to pay their tribute on Friday
Mourning relatives at the ceremony on Friday in the waters off Bali
The underwater photo released on Sunday by the Indonesian Navy shows parts of the submarine KRI Nanggala that sank in the Bali Sea in Indonesia
The crew is believed to be still inside despite their cracked hull being watched by a Singapore-supplied underwater lifeboat.
The eerie pictures taken on Sunday were the final confirmation that there was no hope of finding survivors.
President Joko Widodo met the families of the 53 crew members on Thursday and expressed his condolences.
The diesel-engine submarine, built in Germany, had been in service in Indonesia since 1981 and carried 49 crew members and three gunners as well as its commander.
It went missing last Wednesday when it was scheduled to take part in live torpedo training exercises.
The crew asked for permission to dive. Shortly afterwards, it lost contact.
Search teams later discovered an oil spill in which the ship was believed to be submerged, indicating possible damage to the fuel tank and a catastrophic accident.
The military has not yet issued an official statement for the submarine’s sinking.
Navy personnel salute during a ceremony commemorating the crew of the KRI Nanggala submarine, which sank on April 21
Flowers will be thrown overboard during Friday’s commemoration
Seafarers and family members mourn the dead from the Navy’s KRI Soeharso hospital ship
Flowers fall into the water off Bali today, while relatives and comrades mourn the 53 dead
Women hug during the ceremony today
Sailors throw flowers overboard while a grieving woman is held near the ship’s railing by another officer
However, it was found that the overtaken ship was seaworthy and the possibility of an explosion was excluded.
The Navy has said the submarine may have suffered a power outage and the crew were unable to take emergency action.
Its torso would have been torn apart when it sank well below what the KRI Nanggala was supposed to withstand, they said.
The former commander of the submarine, Rear Admiral Muhammad Ali, has told the local media that a so-called single internal wave could have been to blame.
The natural phenomenon occurs when different depths of the sea come together and create forces that could have pulled the ship down, he said.
Indonesian Armed Forces officials believe a single internal wave could be responsible for the demise of KRI Nanggala 402
The submarine carried out a torpedo drilling in waters 60 miles north of the island of Bali last Wednesday
Internal waves occur when deep water meets shallower seas, causing a huge shift in the tides and massive movement of the water (off the coast of Trinidad).
Indonesian defense officials said images from a Japanese satellite confirmed that at the time of the KRI Nanggala 402 sinking, there were large underwater waves in the area, moving a huge body of water that the ship could not handle.
“It was moving from the bottom to the north and there is a rift between two mountains,” said Rear Admiral Iwan Isnurwanto, commander of the Indonesian Navy.
‘The wave was about two nautical miles [in speed] and the volume of water was about two to four million cubic liters. ‘
Another admiral said the incident was “nature’s will”.