Indonesian military pays last respects to submarine crew

BULELENG, INDONESIA (AP) – Indonesia’s military and family members yesterday paid their last respects to the 53 submarine crew members who died when their vessel sank and broke apart in the depths off the resort island of Bali.

The ceremony included relatives casting flowers into the ocean from the navy’s hospital ship.

Indonesia is planning to recover the KRI Nanggala 402 with the help of a Chinese navy ship.

The navy said the submarine sank April 21 to a depth of 600-700 metres, much deeper than its collapse depth of 200 metres, at which point water pressure would be greater than the hull could withstand. President Joko Widodo met the families of the 53 crew members on Thursday and expressed his condolences.

The German-built diesel-powered submarine had been in service in Indonesia since 1981 and was carrying 49 crew members and three gunners as well as its commander, the Defence Ministry said.

Naval officers throw a flower garland into the sea as sign of respect for the submarine that disappeared off the coast of Bali. PHOTO: AFP