May 19, 2021 – As of May 18, the Chinese rescue fleet, which arrived in Indonesia in early May to assist in the recovery of Indonesia’s wrecked submarine, has completed the first-phrase survey task and achieved initial results.
The Chinese rescue fleet participating in the salvage operations consists of three vessels, i.e., the ocean salvage/rescue ship Yongxingdao (Hull 863) and the ocean-going salvage tug Nantuo 195 attached to a naval rescue ship flotilla under the PLA Southern Theater Command and the scientific research vessel Explorer 2 sent by the Institute of Deep-Sea Science and Engineering (IDSSE) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).
During the salvage operations, China’s manned submersible Deepsea Warrior aboard the on-duty scientific research vessel Explorer 2 completed 13 dives of survey task, basically figured out the underwater state of the wrecked submarine, collected a large number of pictures and video data, and salvaged the submarine’s life raft and other light components.
Zhang Weijia, the liaison officer of the vessel Explorer 2, said that the Chinese side has handed over all the survey data, underwater pictures, videos, and salvaged items to the Indonesian military in a timely and safe manner without reservation, under the premise of excellent pandemic prevention and control work.
At the same time, in order to conduct exchanges more effectively, multiple parties involved in the operations, including the Indonesian military, the Chinese military, the Chinese Embassy and consulate in Indonesia, and the Explorer 2 scientific research team, have established an online communication mechanism under the coordination of the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia. All parties involved hold video conferences regularly to conduct efficient and transparent communication on related technical issues in the salvage process.
Chen Yongjing, defense attaché of the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia, stated this is a major humanitarian resccue operation jointly carried out by China and Indonesia, it is of great significance to consolidating and deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries and promoting mutual trust, mutual assistance and cooperation between the two militaries.
Facing the world-class problem of deep-sea salvage, relevant departments and task vessels of China and Indonesia have maintained close communication and collaboration, achieving phased results of the underwater survey task, Chen added.
At present, the Chinese naval ships have started the salvage operation after underwater survey.