The Indonesian Navy yesterday assessed options, with aid from local and foreign specialised vessels, on how to salvage its submarine that sunk to a depth of 850m, killing all 53 crew members.
"We will analyse the underwater pictures and video, the current, et cetera, to decide the technology that will be used," First Admiral Julius Widjojono was quoted as saying by Reuters yesterday.
The KRI Nanggala-402 was discovered broken into at least three parts on the seabed in the waters north of Bali Island on Sunday, four days after contact was lost during a preparation to launch a torpedo exercise.
A sonar scan detected the submarine at a depth of 850m; the vessel was designed to withstand external pressure of up to 500m.
More than 20 vessels from Indonesia and other countries, including Singapore with its submarine rescue vessel MV Swift Rescue, were deployed in a search and rescue operation to detect the location of the submarine.
Grieving relatives of the dead crew members congregated at Celukan Bawang in north Bali yesterday to pray and pay their respects to their beloved ones, local media reported.
The families also urged the government to retrieve the bodies of the submariners from the sea.
A Navy official told The Straits Times that family members of the lost crew will join hospital ship KRI Soeharso on Thursday to pray and ceremoniously scatter petals in the Bali Sea.
Mr Zakheus Soltid, a resident of Banyuwangi, the coastal town in East Java where the KRI Nanggala-402 was stationed, expressed his deep sorrow over the deaths of the crew members, saying they were "the chosen people" and among Indonesia's best military personnel, who had ensured the country's security from any threat.
"Performing the duties underwater is tougher than any other job (in the military)," said the 70-year-old, who used to be a sailor.
"I am praying that their souls rest in peace."
Another resident, 73-year-old Daniel Pujiono, said that he was very sad and deeply grieved over the deaths of the 53 victims.
"This incident is a big tragedy. They passed away while performing their duties. They are national heroes," he said.
Meanwhile, a former Indonesian Navy senior engineer who had worked on the submarine said he felt "a big sense of loss" after he heard about the incident.
"Submarine crewmen attend extraordinary training. They are the greatest talent," said Mr Frans Wuwung, who was an engineer on Indonesia's submarines, including the 44-year-old KRI Nanggala-402.
He called for a thorough investigation into the incident to determine its cause in order to learn a lesson and avoid a recurrence.
A poignant video of the sailors singing a song titled Sampai Jumpa (Goodbye), a few weeks before the vessel went down, has emerged.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo offered his condolences to the relatives and vowed that the state would financially support the education of the children of the dead crew members.
Singapore President Halimah Yacob also expressed her condolences over the loss of the lives of the 53 crewmen.