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Video shows Indonesian sub's crew singing happily weeks before tragedy

Indonesian navy working out how to salvage submarine found on seabed on Sunday

BALI A poignant video has emerged showing the crew of a sunken Indonesian submarine singing happily together on board their vessel.

The video, filmed a few weeks before the KRI Nanggala 402 went down with all hands lost, shows some of the 53-strong crew singing Sampai Jumpa, an Indonesian hit whose title means Till We Meet Again.

Submarine commander Heri Oktavian is among those gathered around a seaman strumming an acoustic guitar.

"Even though I'm not ready to be missing you, I'm not ready to live without you," the sailors sang. "I wish all the best for you."

The video was recorded as a farewell for the outgoing commander of the submarine corps, whose successor took up his role last month, Indonesian military spokesman Djawara Whimbo told AFP.

The German-built submarine disappeared early last Wednesday while it was scheduled to do torpedo training exercises off Bali.

The military announced on Sunday it had found the vessel in pieces on the seafloor, 830m below the surface.

Relatives of crew member Gede Kartika congregated at Celukan Bawang on Bali's north coast yesterday. Some carried incense and flowers as they clutched framed photographs of him in his naval uniform. Others rowed out to sea to ceremoniously scatter petals in the water.

"We have already given our son to the government. Now that he has fallen in this operation, we hope the government will return his remains to us after all the official ceremonies," said Mr Wayan Darmanta, the submariner's uncle.

The family of another lost crew member gathered at Banyuwangi, which is home to the naval base on Java island where the submarine was stationed, to pay their respects.

President Joko Widodo pledged the state would fund the education of the dead sailors' children.

The Indonesian navy was yesterday trying to work out how it could salvage the sub. Experts said it would be a daunting task to lift the submarine to the surface from the deep water, and would require specialised salvage equipment.

A navy spokesman said a retrieval operation was being discussed with experts and international bodies.

"We will analyse the underwater pictures and video... (to) decide the technology that will be used," First Admiral Julius Widjojono said. - AFP, REUTERS

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