Indonesia said it will salvage the submarine that sank off the coast of Bali earlier this month as grieving relatives cast flowers into the sea to pay their respects to the 53 crew members killed in the disaster.
Authorities had yet to confirm on Friday if they would try to haul up the KRI Nanggala 402 from the seafloor, after it was spotted cracked into three pieces. The navy said it was waiting on the arrival of two ships, including a vessel sent by China, that are equipped to handle deep-sea salvage operations.
High-powered magnets and air balloons were among the possible options, but how and when the cracked submarine would be brought to the surface was uncertain, said navy chief Yudo Margono.
“It’s hard to talk about specific timing, but I can say that as soon as help arrives, we’ll start,” he told reporters.
The submarine’s crew are believed to still be inside the vessel, Margono said.
An underwater rescue vehicle supplied by neighbouring Singapore gave visual confirmation that the German-built sub was lying on the seafloor more than 800 metres deep.
The German-made submarine is one of five submarines operated by Indonesia.
It was made in the late 1970s, and underwent a two-year refit in South Korea that was completed in 2012.