Navy divers have recovered the cockpit voice recorder of a Lion Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea in October, Indonesian officials said Monday, in a possible boost to the accident investigation. Ridwan Djamaluddin, a deputy maritime minister, told reporters that remains of some of the 189 people who died in the crash were also discovered at the seabed location. A spokesman for the Indonesian navy's western fleet, Lt. Col. Agung Nugroho, said divers using high-tech "ping locator" equipment had started a new search effort on Friday and found the voice recorder beneath 26 feet of seabed mud. The plane crashed in waters 98 feet deep.
The device is being transported to a navy port in Jakarta and will be handed over to the transportation safety committee, which is overseeing the accident investigation. "This is good news, especially for us who lost our loved ones," said Irianto, the father of Rio Nanda Pratama, a doctor who died in the crash. "Even though we don't yet know the contents of the CVR, this is some relief from our despair," he said. The 2-month-old Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet plunged into the Java Sea just minutes after taking off from Jakarta on Oct. 29, killing everyone on board. The cockpit data recorder was recovered within days of the crash and showed that the jet's airspeed indicator had malfunctioned on its last four flights. (Information from the recorder suggested a "fatal tug-of-war" took place.)