HMAS Sydney believed found off WA coast

Discussion in 'History' started by Como83, Aug 10, 2007.

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  1. Quote from today's Sydney Morning Herald: -

    "The 66-year search for the wreck of HMAS Sydney is believed to be over.
    The ship, in which 645 Australians died, is believed to have been found by a group of West Australians, last weekend.
    The Sydney sank after a battle with German raider, Kormoran, on November 19, 1941, Fairfax newspapers said.
    Video film of the find shows tangled wreckage over large, much longer than any other ship known to have sunk nearby.
    The search team believe the video, which shows decking bolts, radio aerials, steam tubes and signs of massive damage show the wreck is the Sydney.
    The shipwreck is near Cape Inscription on the northern end of Dirk Hartog Island. It is in about 150 metres of water."

    Found apparently by three elderly amateurs using a grappling hook.
    - Can this be true? Can amateurs beat the professionals?

  2. They are talking about ID features such as radio masts, steam tubes and the bolts where wooden decking used to be? I'd have thought that four 6 inch turrets may have been a better clue, and more easily spotted.

    I will take this story with a grain of salt. Sounds like yet another attempt to secure funding or publicise a book or TV program to me.
  3. I thought that MAD searches a few years back had narrowed the location to a "few promising sites" ? I studied the loss of SYDNEY when I worked for MoD a few years back, but for "Bruce" in a fishing boat finding it ? FFS !
  4. If she capsized before sinking, the turrets would have fallen away and would not necessarily have ended up near the main part of the wreck.

  5. This is true, but if the cameras can get close enough to identify deck fittings the holes where the turrets used to be should be apparent. In only 150 metres of water the debris field should not be spread too far and the turrets should have settled relatively close to the hull.
  6. I'm surprised they gave the location even if it a general area as surely it will be a war grave.
  7. Seaweed

    Seaweed War Hero Book Reviewer

    1. Don't understand the phrase 'steam tubes'.

    2. Narrative suggests that the camera was limited in its range along the ship & seems to have only worked the middship section so no turrets.

    3. However does sound rather like a merchantman.
  8. The latest development regarding claims that the wreck of HMAS Sydney has been located is reported in todays 'The Australian' national daily . It appears the government is taking the claim seriously maybe to clear any doubt crew families may have and , cynically , it is an election year . Experts are rubbishing the claims by the finders of the wreck but the wreck of a Japanese midget submarine was located by scuba divers off the NSW coast fairly recently so maybe there is a possibility this one is correct . When the media becomes involved there could be something in it . My main question remains , why no survivors . Let's hope it is the wreck to put a lot of minds at rest .

    "Tony Barrass | August 16, 2007
    THE so-called discovery of HMAS Sydney off the West Australian coast turned to farce last night when the group responsible for the claim refused to co-operate with federal authorities keen to verify the find.

    After the group yesterday refused to tell Defence Department personnel where they had found the alleged shipwreck, the Minister Assisting the Defence Minister Bruce Billson warned the men that he had the power to act under federal legislation and demanded they hand over the co-ordinates.

    But he need not have threatened the so-called "shipwreck hunters", who are believed to have signed a confidentiality agreement with Fairfax newspapers and The West Australian.

    The Australian can confirm that the wreck lies 20 nautical miles off Dirk Hartog island in approximately 130m of water, south 25.46-359, east 112.36-736.

    The co-ordinates were listed by the Shire of Shark Bay in a letter sent to a media organisation earlier this week complaining about the coverage of the issue

    On Saturday, newspapers claimed the Sydney, which was last seen in November 1941 after engaging the German raider Kormoran, had been found by a group of amateur researchers, led by local man Phil Shepherd, off Dirk Hartog Island.

    The story has been described as a cruel beat-up that has raised the hopes of the families of the 645 men who went down with the cruiser. It remains Australia's worst maritime disaster and its most mysterious.

    Mr Billson said yesterday that HMAS Leeuwin, a Royal Australian Navy hydrographic survey ship, was making its way from Darwin to the Carnarvon coast to investigate the claim.

    Leeuwin is fitted with high-definition sonar equipment and will give authorities an idea of whether the claim is nonsense.

    "This latest claim has raised the expectations of the families of the 645 crew members who were tragically lost when the Sydney went down and I call on the group to fully co-operate," Mr Billson said.

    "This is an issue of national importance. The Sydney remains the property of the RAN and therefore the Australian Government is committed to verifying the claim as soon as possible."

    The Leeuwin is expected to be in the area within the next day."
  9. Disgusting!

    A former lieutenant commander of HMAS Sydney has described the hype surrounding claims that the World War II ship had been found as disgusting and disrespectful.
    Yesterday the claims were proved false when the Australian Navy ship HMAS Leeuwin found the wreck was too small to be the Sydney and was not a warship.

    Former lieutenant commander of HMAS Sydney Ean McDonald says the initial media reports were insensitive.
    "It must have upset a lot of families who had relatives who went down with the ship," he said.
    He says the search for the Sydney must continue and believes researchers may find the wreck further down the coastline.

    - Agree with her old Jimmy (He sure must be getting on now). Those Bastards should be thrown in the brig.
    - Apologies to those down there for picking up this media rubbish.

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