Missing submarine has less than a day’s supply of oxygen for 53 crew

Authorities are conducting a frantic search for a missing submarine they fear could have sunk too deep to be saved – with just a day's oxygen left.

The KRI Nanggala 402 went missing on Wednesday (April 21) off the resort island of Bali with 53 crew members on board.

The Indonesian navy chief said the submarine was expected to run out of oxygen by around 3am (Central Indonesian Time) on Saturday, April 24, 11am UK time.

However, there is believed to be no life signs of the submarine, but military representatives refuse to speculate on the fate of the crew.

Major General Achmad Riad said the search team will "maximise the effort today until the time limit tomorrow (of) 3am".

Dozens of ships and a patrol plane were mobilised for the search as they focused heavily on the area where an oil slick was found after the submarine disappeared during an exercise.

An Australian warship equipped with a sonar device and a helicopter is also on it's way to help.

The US has sent planes to assist in the search, while offers of help have also come from Germany, France, Russia, India, Turkey and South Korea.

Singaporean and Malaysian rescue ships are also expected to assist in the next few days.

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President Joko Widodo asked for thoughts and prayers from the Indonesian people while ordering the intense effort.

In a televised address on April 22, Widodo said: "Our main priority is the safety of 53 crew members.

"To the family of the crew members, I can understand your feelings and we are doing our best to save all crew members on board."

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The navy believes the submarine sank to a depth of 2,000-2,300 feet, which is said to be deeper than the hull can withstand.

The sub’s collapse depth was estimated at 655 feet according to the South Korean company that refitted the vessel in 2009-2012.

Navy chief of staff Admiral Yudo Margono claimed an unidentified object with high magnetism was located at a depth of 165 to 330 feet, with officials hoping it was the submarine.

The cause of the disappearance is unconfirmed.

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