The world is closely following the search for the Indonesian submarine that disappeared this Wednesday in the depths of the waters of Bali. There are fewer and fewer hopes of finding their crew alive. The Nanggala-402 disaster has not been the first that has had the whole world in suspense, before it was the Kursk and the Ara San Juan
Kursk, the inaugural disaster of putin
Vladimir Putin had barely eight months in office as Russia’s president when he faced his first major crisis. The submarine ‘Kursk’, with 118 crew members on board, sank during naval maneuvers that took place in the Barents Sea on August 12, 2000 .
A faulty torpedo set off two explosions that completely destroyed the ship’s forward compartments. Only 23 sailors located between compartments six and nine survived the blasts and took refuge in the stern of the submarine. They are known to have remained alive for at least six hours , before a fire broke out and all their remaining oxygen was consumed.
Both the Head of State himself, as well as the Russian Army itself, showed a glaring lack of reflexes when facing the catastrophe. The Kremlin leader took five days to suspend his vacation, while the Russian Navy did not start rescue work until hours after the incident. During the first days, Moscow rejected offers of aid from Norway and the United Kingdom and only accepted them also five days after the accident.
The families of the victims harshly criticized the management and improvisation of the authorities, who took a week to meet with the families.
The dramatic images of Nadezhda Tylik , the mother of one of the sailors, demanding explanations and rebuking the then Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebánov during the meeting, before a woman, from behind and without prior warning, injected her with a tranquilizer and she lost her knowledge went around the world, and were spread abroad before Russia itself.
Ara San Juan, tragedy in Argentina
The sinking of the submarine ARA San Juan in the southern waters of Argentina , on November 15, 2017, is a drama that may still have political consequences: a Patagonian court must determine the responsibilities of the then president, Mauricio Macri, and his Minister of Defense, Oscar Aguad .
The ARA, as it came to be known, was a German-made, conventional diesel-electric powered submarine with a snorkel system. The Argentine Navy acquired it in 1985, three years after the Falklands War with Great Britain, for its ability to repel submarines and carry out mining operations.
The ARA sank as a result of an implosion with 44 people on board(43 men and one woman). The Navy lost its trail when it moved from Ushuaia, in the extreme south of this country, to the base located in the seaside resort of Mar del Plata, 400 kilometers from the city of Buenos Aires.
A year later, the Government hired the private company Ocean Infinity. After weeks of hard work, he found the submarine at a depth of 907 meters and 600 kilometers from the Patagonian town of Comodoro Rivadavia.
In November 2020, retired Rear Admiral Luis Enrique López Mazzeo revealed in court that the political authorities knew the location of the submarine 20 days after its disappearance thanks to information from a Chilean ship. A court martial sanctioned the high command of the Navy in 2017 for their responsibility in the disaster.