Search for sunken hospital ship Centaur to start in December
The search for a torpedoed World War II hospital ship in Queensland waters will start next month.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Premier Anna Bligh today said the hunt for the Centaur was expected to start in mid-December. A Japanese submarine torpedoed the hospital ship off south-east Queensland in May 1943, killing 268 people.
Premier Anna Bligh said a Defense Maritime Services vessel, the Seahorse Spirit, would play a critical role in the search.
She said deep-sea side-scan sonar equipment and a remotely operated submersible vessel capable of being operated at depths of up to 6000m were among the specialized equipment sourced from two US based firms.
"This is highly specialized equipment operated by only a handful of companies worldwide, with the majority based in the USA," Ms Bligh said.
"As the search is expected to be very challenging, with initial indications that the sub-sea terrain in the search area is steep and rugged, we need the best equipment and best people available to help us achieve success on this mission."