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SINGAPORE, April 22 — The Singapore Navy dispatched a submarine rescue vessel yesterday afternoon to aid in the search for an Indonesian navy submarine which had gone missing with 53 people on board earlier that day.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in a Facebook post today that the Republic of Singapore Navy’s MV Swift Rescue submarine was dispatched “as fast as she could get ready” after Singapore’s Navy Chief, Rear-Admiral Aaron Beng, received a request for assistance from his Indonesian counterpart.
“A medical team was also added to the regular crew in the event that hyperbaric care would be needed,” added Dr Ng.
Hyperbaric treatment involves providing pure oxygen for breathing in a pressurised environment.
Dr Ng added that the MV Swift Rescue sailed off as soon as it could, given that the search site for search operations, which is near the Indonesian province of Bali, is more than 1,500 km away, where waters are deep.
In a statement today, the Indonesian military said that the MV Swift Rescue is expected to arrive on site on Saturday.
The Indonesian submarine, KRI Nanggala-402, had gone missing with 53 people on board yesterday while conducting a torpedo drill in waters north of Indonesia’s Bali Island.
The Indonesian defence ministry said yesterday that it found an oil spill near the submarine’s dive location and it has deployed four navy vessels to search for the missing submarine.
It added that it had sent requests for assistance to Australia, Singapore and India.
Malaysia will also be sending a vessel, the MV Mega Bakti, which is scheduled to arrive next Monday.
In his post, Dr Ng noted that Singapore has very close military ties with Indonesia which has been built up over the years through bilateral exercises and engagements at all levels.
“It is only natural that we do whatever we can to assist in times like this,” he said.
“In the meantime, our fervent prayers and hopes go out to the crew of KRI Nanggala, for their safety and resilience and also to the search and locate teams of the Indonesian Navy currently on site.” — TODAY