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Australian wartime hospital ship Centaur

gibbo

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Crew finds Centaur shipwreck
Posted Sun Dec 20, 2009 9:28am AEDT
Updated Sun Dec 20, 2009 1:47pm AEDT


The WWII ship was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1943 and sank off the south-east Queensland coast.
Of the 332 people on board the AHS Centaur only 64 survived.
This morning, seven days into an official search, the crew of the Seahorse Spirit confirmed the location of the wreck.
Centaur search director David Mearns says the wreck location is about 30 nautical miles due east of the southern tip of Moreton Island at a depth of 2,059 metres.
Mr Mearns, who also led the searches for HMAS Sydney and Kormoran, says the discovery is quite an achievement.
"It's a great sense of relief and satisfaction," he said.
"Every time you find a shipwreck like this it's a little bit different and this was very, very hard compared to Sydney and Kormoran, whose finds were almost instantaneous.
"This has taken a number of days to really work out that we had the right target."
Ian Hudson from the Centaur Association says the ship's discovery will give closure to the loved ones of those who died.
"There's been so many reports of finding the ship in the past where it's been other vessels that have been sunk, and that's caused a lot of problems for family," he said.
"This will be the absolute end of it and I suppose in modern parlance people can then move on."
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh has praised the work of the Centaur search team.
"The search team have done an outstanding job in the most difficult circumstances," she said.
"This now means we have a final resting place for the Centaur and it can be marked and it can be preserved and protected.
"This is now a significant military grave site and an exclusion zone will be created to protect it."
Ms Bligh says a remotely operated submersible vehicle with a camera will take more photos of the wreck in early January.
 

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