KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — MV Mega Bakti, a submarine rescue ship of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), was deployed this morning to assist in the search for a missing Indonesian submarine, KRI Nanggala, which lost contact while conducting training in the waters off the north of Bali yesterday.
The Ministry of Defence (Mindef), in a statement today, said MV Mega Bakti set off from the Submarine Command Headquarters operations jetty in Teluk Sepanggar, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah and is expected to reach its location at 3pm on Sunday.
“The search and rescue (SAR) operation, which is headed by Komander Mohd Hairul Fahmy Yob as the rescue force coordinator, would involve a 54-member crew comprising 10 Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) medical officers and personnel and 44 MV Mega Bakti crew.
“MV Mega Bakti is an RMN charter vessel with a primary capability of performing SAR operations for submarines.
“RMN will also pray for the safety of the crew and for the submarine to be found immediately,” the statement added.
This is MV Mega Bakti’s second SAR operation after being involved in the search for MH370 when the plane was reported missing in the Indian Ocean in 2014.
Among the SAR equipment onboard the vessel are the Distress Submarine Ventilation Depressurrised System, GPS Intelligent Buoy (GIB) System — Localisation of Pinger, an Intervention Remotely Operated Vehicle (IROV) with Launch And Recovery Systems (LARS) operating of Depth 650m, an Emergency Life Support Stores (ELSS) Pod and a Dive Decompression Chamber.
Earlier, Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob contacted his Indonesian counterpart Prabowo Subianto to express his sympathy following the incident and to inform him that Malaysia would be providing assistance.
“Mindef, through the RMN, gives its full commitment to the SAR operation and the availability of the RMN proves that any of its assets can be mobilised in all aspects of operations in a short time.
“Besides emphasising on the Defence Diplomacy approach, the SAR operation also showed the RMN’s commitment to the international community regarding the duties and responsibilities of submarine operators in the world,” said the statement.
The KRI Nanggala-402 submarine, which belongs to the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) and had 53 crew members aboard, was reported to have lost contact at 4.30am yesterday while conducting torpedo training about 96 kilometres in the waters off the north of Bali.
Meanwhile, TNI information centre head Mayor Jenderal Achmad Riad said Singapore, the United States, Germany, France, Turkey, India and Australia had also offered to help search for the missing submarine.
In a media conference held via webinar today, TNI Naval chief of staff Laksamana Yudo Margono said that the oxygen supply in KRI Nanggala would only be able to last for another 72 hours.
“Under a blackout condition, KRI Nanggala can last for 72 hours with the existing oxygen capacity, which is estimated until Saturday,” he said in the media conference, which was also broadcast live via the official TNI YouTube channel (Puspen TNI). — Bernama