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Search for Centaur nears

Side of the Centaurm, which was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on May 14, 1943 in waters off the Sunshine Coast, and killing most people on board. Photo: Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial
Side of the Centaurm, which was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine on May 14, 1943 in waters off the Sunshine Coast, and killing most people on board. Photo: Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial

THE hunt for the sunken hospital ship Centaur, believed to have gone down in the deep waters off Moreton Island, is expected to start next month.

Project manager and search director, David Mearns, will oversee the mission.

Deep-sea side-scan sonar equipment and a remotely operated submersible vessel capable of being operated at depths of up to 6,000 metres are among the specialised equipment sourced from two US based firms.

A Defence Maritime Services vessel, the Seahorse Spirit, will also play a critical role in the search.

On May 12, 1943 the Centaur sailed unescorted from Sydney at 9.45am carrying her crew and normal staff, as well as stores and equipment of the 2/12th Field Ambulance but no patients.

In the early morning of May 14, 1943 the Centaur was sunk without warning by a torpedo from a Japanese submarine.

Its position being approximately 27°17’ S, 153°58’ E about 50 miles east north-east of Brisbane.


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