HMAS Sydney find sparks Centaur hopes

The hospital ship Centaur

By Mark Willacy

This week marks the 65th anniversary of one of Australia's darkest moments in World War II.

Two hundred and sixty eight people died when the hospital ship Centaur was sunk by a Japanese submarine off the coast of Stradbroke Island near Brisbane, in what was denounced as a despicable war crime.

Now victims' families say the time has come to put the Centaur's ghost to rest and find the wreckage of the vessel.

And the shipwreck hunter who discovered HMAS Sydney says he would love the challenge.

"I think it's like the HMAS Sydney, a loss that has touched people and maybe scarred people for generations," David Mearns said.

In the early hours of May 1943, the Centaur was steaming en route to Port Moresby to pick up casualties.



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