2015 Expedition

Article | Updated 5 years ago

The 2015 survey expedition to uncover the secrets of the HMAS Sydney (II) has produced a mass of images and footage that document the wreck sites and reveal more about the last moments of the ship.

This new photographic evidence appears to confirm why the Sydney was so quickly disabled, leading to catastrophic damage and the devastating loss of everyone on board.

High resolution images taken by Curtin University on board DOF Subsea's vessel Skandi Protector clearly shows, for the first time, a 15cm shell hole through the bridge at the compass platform.

ROV photo of the 15cm hole shell hole in HMAS Sydney (II) wreck

Close-up of previously unseen 15cm shell hole through bridge.
Images courtesy of WA Museum and Curtin University © WA Museum

This new evidence provides support for the theory that within the first 30 seconds of the battle Sydney's bridge was destroyed, her command structure lost, and her ability to effectively fight back severely disabled.

ROV scanning the HMAS Sydney (II) wreck

ROV captures wreck of HMAS Sydney (II)
Images courtesy of WA Museum and Curtin University © WA Museum 

When the wrecks were found in 2008 the shell hole was not obvious, presenting as a shadow in the photographs taken at the time.

Who was involved? 

The $2.4 million survey expedition is supported by the Australian Government, Curtin University, DOF Subsea, the WA Museum Foundation, GMA Garnet Group and the Honorary Consul of the Federal Republic of Germany in WA Torsten Ketelsen, and Prospero Productions.

The project has the support of the Royal Australian Navy and the Naval Association of Australia, representing veterans' interests.

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