The secrets of Centaur revealed

AFTER being positively identified with high definition video footage more than two kilometres below the sea surface, the first images of the AHS Centaur have been revealed.

Shipwreck hunters took the underwater footage of the Centaur at 2.50am (AEST) yesterday during a six-hour mission to the wreck.

Shipwreck hunter, David Mearns, along with a crew of 33 and a submarine robot, identified the ship’s Red Cross, a distinctive star on the bow, and a corroded identification number.

Other features of the ship identified included the mast, anchor and guard rails.

Mr Mearns, who located the Centaur wreck off the coast of Morton Island in December last year, said some sections of the wreck were badly damaged.

According to Mr Mearns, pictures revealed the bow almost completely severed from the rest of the hull around the area where the torpedo hit.

Historian and former chairman of the Centaur Commemoration Committee, Warren Keats, said he was excited and eager see the first images of the infamous ship.

“It draws a line under this saga that has been going on for 60 years,” Mr Keats said.

“We knew it was in very deep water, so it’s unlikely to have been disturbed.

“This means hopefully there’ll be some good photos of it.”

Mr Keats said the historic location was likely to be declared a war grave.

“We have been thinking about this ship and its story for a long time,” he said

“I am very interested to see what shows up and what it looks like.

“It would mean a great deal to families, to be able to have a photograph they can look at and concentrate on, to visually study the images and to relate them to their lost loved ones.”

The Centaur was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine off the Queensland coast during World War II in 1943, killing 268 of the 332 people on board.

Mr Means said he was uncertain when the best time to lay a memorial plaque for the victims was, but said it would be soon.

All Centaur footage will be shot more than one metre away from the wreck, as it remains protected under the Commonwealth’s Historic Shipwrecks Act of 1976.

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