Indonesia asks Australia to help search for submarine with 53 on board

Singapore: Indonesia’s military chief says the country has asked the Australian navy to try and help locate a submarine that is missing north of Bali with 53 sailors on board.

Contact was lost with the German-built submarine in the early hours on Wednesday morning after it undertook a torpedo training exercise about 100 km north of Bali.

The KRI Nanggala-402 submarine stopped responding about 3am on Wednesday.

Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto, the commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that Indonesia had requested assistance from Australia and Singapore in an effort to find the vessel, which is feared sunk.

“We are searching,” he said.

Built in 1979, the KRI Nanggala-402 is one of five submarines in Indonesia’s fleet.

Tjahjanto told Indonesian news outlet Kompass the vessel had stopped replying to contact about 3am on Wednesday.

“Just when the dive permit was given, after being given the clearance, contact was immediately lost,” he said.

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been contacted for comment.

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