Missing war wrecks

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Missing war wrecks

Postby ColinS » Tue Dec 06, 2016 11:23 am

An absolute disgrace when Salvagers are wrecking WW2 Ships – we should be protecting them from these sort of People.

Dear All
With great regret and sadness I have to report the results of a diving expedition on the war wrecks in the Java Sea. In preparation to the 75th Commemoration of the Battle of the Java Sea on 27 February 2017 the Karel Doorman Fonds initiated a diving expedition on HNLMS De Ruyter, Java and Kortenaer in order to survey the ships, bring home pictures of these war graves for the relatives and place commemoration plaques to indicate to divers they were diving on war graves that should be respected. The expedition was conducted from MV Empress, the diving team carefully hand-picked by Dr Andrew Fock, who already had established his credentials in surveying war wrecks in South-eastern Asian waters. On arriving at the datum of the De Ruyter a scan by multibeam sonar indicated the absence of the ship. Subsequently divers found some debris confirming the earlier presence of the ships. The expedition then continued with surveying other known war wrecks positions with the following results:

HNLMS De Ruyter removed, earlier presence confirmed

HNLMS Java removed, earlier presence confirmed

HNLMS Kortenaer largely removed, earlier presence confirmed

HMS Exeter removed, earlier presence confirmed

HMS Encounter removed, earlier presence confirmed

HMS Electra encased in netting, propellers removed, damaged but probably not by deliberate salvage

USS Perch removed, only minor debris found

The assessment of the diving team is:

1. Salvagers have systematically removed the shipwrecks of the Java Sea, including almost all the warships over the last few months. This has been an incredible thorough job and has ignored such factors as the fuel remaining on the vessels and the live ammunition.

2. The appearance of the subsurface mud visualized on the sea floor is consistent with the use of a crane-barge with a claw as has been observed taking wrecks in the South China Sea (HNLMS O-16) and on HMAS Perth (I) during 2013 – 2015.

3. The only remaining relatively intact warship from the Battel of the Java Sea in the eastern Java Sea is now HMS Electra, which is in poor condition and has been partially salvaged.

Priority should now be given to surveying the status of other war wrecks in the area and intensify the protection efforts.

Jacques Brandt

Chairman Karel Doorman Fonds
Enlisted April 1960 DEE April 1969 L/Ck R56992 Cerberus, Penguin, Quickmatch,Abatrossx2,Gascoyne,Kimbla, Kuttabul x3 (old,new & wardroom), Melbournex2 (ships company & admirals straff) Archer whilst in RANR.
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