President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Thursday that he had ordered "optimal" search and rescue efforts for a submarine and its 53 crew that went missing in waters north of the island of Bali,
He said the crew were the "main priority" of the search and expressed his sympathy to the their family members over their ongoing ordeal.
Search and rescue efforts continued Thursday for Indonesian Navy submarine that went missing the previous day off Bali with 53 people on board, with officials saying they would have enough oxygen to last them until early Saturday.
A warship deployed around the scene of the disappearance of the KRI Nanggala-402 has "detected something with high-magnetic resonance, floating at a depth of between 50 and 100 meters," Navy Chief of Staff Adm. Yudo Margono told a press conference, Kyodo News reported.
He added that a navy hydro-oceanography warship equipped with a remotely operated vehicle and a side-scan sonar will be deployed to examine it.
"We hope that it is KRI Nanggala-402," Yudo said.
The German-made submarine went missing at 4:25 a.m. Wednesday about 95 kilometers north of Bali after submersing to conduct a torpedo drill.
On Wednesday afternoon, a warship involved in the search efforts also detected a slow underwater movement, but it was later found to be a fish aggregating device, the navy chief said.
Asked about oxygen supplies in the submarine, he stressed that "under the current blackout condition, the oxygen supplies can last for 72 hours, meaning until 3 a.m. Saturday."
Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto expressed confidence that the KRI Nanggala-402 would be found, saying, "There is still enough oxygen for a few days, so we are optimistic, hoping for the best."
An oil slick was spotted Wednesday afternoon from the air at the location where the submarine had submerged, with the smell of diesel fuel picked up by personnel on two warships at different locations.
Indonesian Military spokesperson Maj. Gen. Achmad Riad cautioned, however, that it did not necessarily come from the submarine.
Navies from Australia, France, Germany, India, Malaysia, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey and the United States have offered help, the spokesman said, adding that a Singaporean submarine support and rescue vessel and a Malaysian vessel were on their way to join search and rescue efforts.
The KRI Nanggala-402 is one of five in Indonesia's submarine fleet. It was built in 1977 in then West Germany and joined the Indonesian Navy in 1981.