Frantic hunt for Indonesian submarine as rescuers hone in on signal

BALI, INDONESIA (AFP) – Indonesia’s desperate search for a missing submarine and its crew of 53 honed in on a signal from an unidentified object yesterday, with just hours to go before the stricken vessel’s oxygen reserves ran out.

The ramped-up hunt comes as Australia and the United States are set to join the search off the coast of Bali where the sub disappeared more than two days ago during training exercises.

Late Thursday, the military said it picked up signs of an object with high magnetism at a depth of between 50 and 100 metres.

Ships equipped with specialised tracking equipment were deployed in the hope that the object could be the KRI Nanggala 402, which was equipped with oxygen reserves that could last until early today, authorities said.

“We’ve only got until 3am tomorrow so we’re maximising all of our efforts today,” said Indonesian military spokesman Achmad Riad.

“Hopefully there will be a bright spot.”

Military officials speak on phone in front of a map of the location where the Indonesian Navy submarine KRI Nanggala went missing. PHOTO: AP