Indonesia calls off salvage bid for KRI Nanggala submarine

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media captionMilitary releases video showing crew of sunken Indonesian submarine singing together

Indonesia has ended its efforts to salvage the remains of a navy submarine that sank off the coast of Bali on 21 April, killing all 53 crew on board.

The KRI Nanggala disappeared after requesting permission to dive during live torpedo exercises in the Bali Sea.

The 40-year-old vessel was found days later, split into three parts.

Efforts have so far failed to retrieve the wreckage from a depth of more than 800m (2,600 ft). The cause of the disaster is still being investigated.

"The salvage is over," navy spokesman Julius Widjojono told the Reuters news agency.

The joint Indonesia-China team dived 20 times to collect photos, videos and parts of the sunken sub, the Indonesian navy said in a statement.

None of the bodies of the 53 on board have been retrieved.

"Our family is hoping they can lift it," Sudarmaji, the father of one crew member was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency shortly before Wednesday's announcement to end the salvage operation.

"It doesn't matter if it takes a while or we have to ask for more help from other countries," he added.

image copyrightReuters
image captionNone of the bodies of the crew have been retrieved

Soon after the sub went missing, the Indonesian military confirmed that debris, including prayer mats, had been found in the area where it disappeared.

The KRI Nanggala's disappearance led to an international search operation with the US, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and India providing help.

image copyrightEPA
image captionImages from an underwater rescue vehicle showed the shattered remains of the sub

The German-built vessel last underwent a refit in 2012.

Journalist and military analyst Edna Caroline Pattisina told Reuters that the sub's commander, Lt Col Heri Oktavian, admitted to her that an overhaul of the vessel scheduled to take place last year had been delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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