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HMAS Sydney II is found.



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THE HON. WARREN SNOWDON MP Minister for Defence Science and Personnel

Monday, 17 March 2008 022/2008

HMAS SYDNEY II IS FOUND

The wreck of missing Royal Australian Navy cruiser HMAS Sydney II has been found.

HMAS Sydney II was tragically lost in November 1941 off Western Australia with its entire crew, following a fierce engagement with the German raider HSK Kormoran.

The discovery was announced today by the Prime Minister, the Hon. Kevin Rudd; the Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, the Hon. Warren Snowdon, MP; Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston; Vice Admiral Russ Shalders, Chief of Navy; and Mr Ted Graham, Chairman of The Finding Sydney Foundation.

“I would like to congratulate The Finding Sydney Foundation and the Royal Australian Navy on this memorable discovery which will bring some peace to the relatives of the brave crew who gave their lives while serving our nation,” said Mr Snowdon.

“It is now hoped we may be able to piece together the events of that dark day in World War II when we lost 645 of Australia’s finest.”

The search first focused on finding the German raider Kormoran which was located on 12 March approximately 112 nautical miles off Steep Point, Western Australia lying in 2,560 metres of water.

The discovery of the main battle site, less than four nautical miles south of Kormoran’s position, was then used to direct the team’s effort in searching for Sydney.

The wreck of the Sydney was confirmed late last night, approximately 12 nautical miles off Kormoran, under 2,470 metres of water.

Mr Ted Graham said they were prepared for the search to take upwards of 35 days so to find them both in a matter of weeks has been a stunning achievement for the entire crew.

“A remotely operated vehicle (ROV) with video filming capabilities able to operate in depths of up to 3,000 metres will be deployed in order to further examine both wrecks of the Sydney and Kormoran.”

The Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts will make a declaration to ensure HMAS Sydney II is protected under the Historic Shipwrecks Act.

Media note: High resolution sonar imagery of the Sydney wreckage and today's announcement at Parliament will be made available at: http://presspass.findingsydney.com and www.defence.gov.au/download

Media contacts: Kate Sieper (Warren Snowdon): 02 6277 7620 or 0488 484 689

Patrick Flynn (The Finding Sydney Foundation): 08 9261 7749 or 0488 555 008 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664