IO – All contact with submarine KRI Nanggala-402 was lost in the northern waters of Bali last Wednesday (21/04/2021). A joint SAR team, which includes assistance from friendly foreign powers, was mounted extensively. On Sunday (25/04/2021), the German-manufactured submarine (1977) was declared lost at sea, at a depth of 853 meters. The combined SAR team still continues its efforts to pull the sub’s remains to the surface, and there is a plan to evacuate the expected remains of 53 KRI Nanggala-402 crewmen to Surabaya, East Java.
This massive drowning has brought great sorrow to many people, including Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto. A relative of his, Second Lieutenant (Dec.) Rhesa Tri Sigar, fell with 52 other KRI Nanggala-402 personnel. Lieutenant Rhesa is the son of Prabowo’s cousin, Lieutenant Colonel (Dec.) Godfried Sigar, who also fell in the line of duty, in East Timor on 4 June 1998. Heroism is inherited in this case.
On Sunday (25/04/2021) night, Prabowo made a personal visit to Rhesa’s family home in Surabaya. He met with Rhesa’s mother, Indah Wahyu Arini Retno Utami, and his elder brother, Captain Julius Sigar. Prabowo told them that Rhesa’s devotion will never be forgotten. “We will always remember everything he does for our beloved Indonesia. Rhesa will always live on in our spirit,” he said.
One of the most heart-breaking losses among KRI Nanggala-402 crew is that of Chief Petty Officer Rusdiansyah Rahman. The sailor who was based in Gedangan, Sidoarjo left behind an 18-day-old son and his 26-year-old wife, Gresilia. The pair were only married in June 2020.
Minister Prabowo expressed concern for the children left behind by the 53 crewmen of KRI Nanggala-402. Therefore, he is providing scholarships for these children. In an official statement delivered by his spokesman Dahnil Anzar Simanjuntak on Monday (26/04/2021), Prabowo has instructed the educational institutions under the care of the Ministry of Defense, Taruna Nusantara School, Magelang, and the Defense University of the Republic of Indonesia, “To allocate space for the sons of the deceased crewmen of KRI Nanggala-402 as Indonesian Navy personnel who lost their lives as the nation’s heroes, in the course of their duty of protecting this country. The children who are in the middle of their High School-level education will be accepted into Taruna Nusantara High School, Magelang, on full scholarships, while those of college age shall be accepted into the Defense University on full scholarship as well,” he said.
Prabowo will also provide full scholarships for those children who are still in Elementary Schools and Middle Schools, through his foundation. “We are currently preparing the Taruna Nusantara school to open the Middle School (boarding school) section. Children who are still in the Elementary School and Middle School will also be granted full scholarships by the Defense Resource Potential Development Foundation,” he said. (Ekawati)