China deploys ships to aid in salvage of sunken Indonesian submarine
Reuters reports that China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has deployed three salvage vessels to assist Indonesian authorities in recovering the wreckage of the submarine KRI Nanggala at the bottom of the Bali Strait.
The deployment of Chinese ships comes after the Indonesian government accepted Beijing’s offer of aid in the effort to lift some portions of the submarine, which lies at a depth of 840 metres some 100 kilometres off Bali.
The PLAN vessels include a rescue boat, a tug, and the research vessel Tansuo-2. The research vessel and the rescue boat are both equipped with deep-diving submersibles, including a manned submersible that can dive to a maximum depth of 10,000 metres.
An Indonesian military spokesman said China was the only foreign country to have so far provided assistance in the salvage effort, though other countries such as Singapore, India, and Australia had also participated in the search operation.
Nanggala was initially reported as missing after radio contact with the crew was lost while they were conducting drills on April 21, 2021. The wreckage was located four days later, confirming earlier suspicions by senior Indonesian defence officials that the submarine had suffered a hull breach and broke apart as it came to rest on the seabed.
All 53 of Nanggala‘s crew perished in the incident.