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X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
X-Ray Mag #62 - Sep 2014
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First photos of torpedoed WW2 hospital ship Centaur

Shipwreck hunters sent down a remote controlled submarine to take the first ever footage of the wreck of an Australian hospital ship that was torpedoed off Queensland during World War II. Sharp images show the Centaur sitting on the sandy ocean bottom just over 2km down, the vessel listing at an angle of about 25 degrees.
A propaganda poster calling for Australians to avenge the sinking of Centaur
The attack made the front pages of newspapers around the world and was used by the Australian government at the time as propaganda to ``avenge'' the 11 nurses who died aboard.
Courier Mail - Queensland Newspapers  |  First photos of hospital ship Centaur    |   11-30-2011
She was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1943, killing 268 of the 332 people on board.

After finding HMAS Sydney in 2008, shipwreck hunter David Mearns has positively identified the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur, more than 80 kilometres off Brisbane, with irrefutable high definition video footage.

For filming the Centaur, Mr Mearns sent a submarine robot down to identify three distinguishable features: the ship's bright red cross, a distinctive star on the bow, and a corroded identification number 47.

''It's a great relief for everybody, the sonar images were very clear to us… but we knew we needed to bring back conclusive video-graphic proof,'' Mr Mearns said.

The mission, which began at 8.30pm on Saturday, was not exactly smooth sailing, with the robot submarine, Remora 3, experiencing a number of mechanical problems. But eventually, the wreck was discovered, and Mr Mearns and his crew became the first people to witness the Centaur in 67 years.

Remora 3 then spent more than an hour successfully filming the wreck, which was split in two and leaning to port at 25 degrees.

Mr Mearns described the stern of the ship as very badly damaged and little identifiable proof was taken from that section: ''It's as we would've expected from a ship that had suffered a direct torpedo hit then had a cataclysmic explosion afterwards, and then sunk very fast, more than 2000 metres.'' .

Further reading ► Multimeda gallery
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Further reading ► Multimeda gallery