According to the Navy, a strong underwater wave may have been the cause for the Indonesian submarine to sink in the deep waters of Bali Island last week, causing the death of 53 crew members.
It has been mentioned by two senior naval officers that there was a strong interval wave spotted on the Japanese weather satellite Himawari-8 image report in the location where the Indonesian submarine was reportedly missing. It was said that a European weather satellite also captured the same thing.
Pemerintah terus mengupayakan yang terbaik dalam pencarian dan penyelamatan seluruh awak KRI Nanggala 402. Prioritas utama kita adalah keselamatan 53 awak kapal.— Joko Widodo (@jokowi) April 22, 2021
Mari berdoa agar upaya pencarian ini dimudahkan, dan seluruh awak kapal dapat kembali dalam keadaan selamat. pic.twitter.com/AU95McD1x8
Internal waves or most commonly known as underwater waves cannot be seen because it was completely hidden within the ocean. Underwater wave and the water around it are different in terms of density caused by temperatures or salinity.
“If we are hit by an internal wave (coming from above), that would be nature we are up against. We would be dragged by the waves, sending us to a quick descent. No one can fight nature,” the former submariner, Rear-Admiral Iwan Isnurwanto explained in a media briefing held in Jakarta on Tuesday
The commander of the Navy Staff and Command School said that a seawater density difference was found across the Lombok Strait and the northern waters of Bali where the KRI Nanggala-402 submarine was located.
It has been reported that on the day of the incident, a massive movement caused by a density difference was spotted. The density difference then created a strong internal wave emerging towards the northern waters of Bali from Lombok Strait.
Rear-Adm Iwan commented that it would be impossible for anyone to overcome being hit with 2 million to 4 million cubic m of water. He explained that the submarine might have been caught in the internal wave after descending for 13m.
The planning and budget assistant to the Indonesia’s navy chief Rear-Admiral Muhammad Ali said that these matters will be thoroughly looked into and will be taken into consideration for the navy’s succeeding operations.
He also stated during the briefing that the investigation is still in progress, and they will have to invite submarine experts from the country and possibly experts from overseas as it would take a while to close the said investigation. He also mentioned about the submariners’ international conferences where all submariners from all over the world gather together.
Meanwhile, the families of the 53 crew members are asking for the authorities to retrieve the deceased bodies from the sea as they wanted to be given a chance to take care of them for the very last time. President Joko Widodo also said on Thursday that compensation for the bereaved families of the submarine crew will be given.