Closure for families, survivors
THE discovery of the AHS Centaur east of Moreton Island has finally put an end to any doubts of its location.
The wreck was found 30 nautical miles due east of the southern tip of Moreton Island at a depth of 2059 metres at 4.30am yesterday morning.
Tweed historian Warren Keats said the find would finally close a chapter on the tragedy.
“It must be comforting for the relatives who lost their kin and it is exciting they found it,” Mr Keats said.
“It is very near where the second officer on duty at the time it sunk said it was.”
The Australian hospital ship was sunk by a Japanese submarine in May 1943 and 268 of those aboard were killed.
Mr Keats said he welcomed the filming of the wreck for the sake of history.
“It would be fitting to have the same knowledge of her demise as we know so much about her already,” he said.
“At least it is deep enough that there is very little likelihood souvenir hunters will try to get to it.”
The Tweed has a special connection with the Centaur, which has a Banora Point primary school named in its honour and a memorial at Point Danger.
Acting Prime Minister Julia Gillard said Australians and relatives of those who had been aboard the ship were grateful for the find.
“The discovery of the AHS Centaur will ensure all Australians know and commemorate the 268 brave nurses and crew who died in the service of their nation,” Ms Gillard said in a statement.
“I hope by locating the final resting place of the AHS Centaur, the family and friends of those men and women who were tragically lost find some resolution.”
Search director David Mearns will return to the site in January to document the wreck.
A remotely operated submersible vehicle equipped with a high-definition camera will collect high quality imagery of the wreck and the surrounding area.
The federal and Queensland governments committed $4 million to the search.