In a grim development, officials say they've found debris from the Indonesian Navy's missing submarine that they believe escaped through a crack in the hull — meaning, experts say, that all crew on board are almost certainly now dead.
"We have now moved from the 'sub miss' phase to 'sub sunk,'" Indonesian Navy spokesperson Yudo Margono said at a press conference, according to NBC News.
Margono also said that authorities now believe the sub to have sunk to a depth of 850 meters, a depth where the pressure is far greater than the vehicle's hull was designed to handle.
The news also comes on Saturday morning, when the sub's remaining oxygen was expected to be depleted — assuming its hull still had integrity.
"We are still carrying out the search," Margono said, but added that the derelict sub's depth makes any recovery operation "very tricky" and "presents many difficulties."
Meanwhile, experts reiterated to New York Times that the chances of survival at this point are extremely slim, especially with wreckage detected at the crushing depth of 850 meters.
"It’s very heartbreaking," former Indonesian Navy submarine trainer Frans Wuwung told the paper. "I am devastated."
Still, Margono said at the press conference, no bodies have yet been recovered, meaning that there's still a tiny glimmer of hope.
"There is still hope, I won’t stop hoping," the wife of one of the missing crew members told the NYT. "The men will survive. It hasn’t ended yet."
READ MORE: Indonesian submarine: 53 sailors presumed dead as navy says vessel sunk [NBC News]
More on the search for the missing sub: Search Party Discovers “Object” During Search for Lost Submarine