NSW SUPPORTS NEW SEARCH FOR HMAS SYDNEY
23 Apr 2006
Premier Morris lemma today announced that NSW will contribute $250,000 to support a new search for the wreckage of the HMAS Sydney off the coast of Western Australia.
HMAS Sydney was sunk during battle on 19 November 1941, and no trace of the vessel or its 645 crew has ever been found.
The project will also include a search for the HSK Kormoran - the German raider that also sank during the military action - with 341 of its 390 crew rescued.
Mr lemma delivered news of the NSW Government support to the Chairman of HMAS Sydney Search, Mr Ted Graham and NSW RSL President Mr Don Rowe.
"There is still tremendous community interest in the mystery surrounds the whereabouts of HMAS Sydney," Mr lemma said.
"Around a third of the 645 HMAS Sydney crew are understood to have come from NSW, and many living relatives of the crew reside here."
"A number of previous attempts to find the wreckage have proved unsuccessful, but indications are that this search offers an 80 to 90 percent probability of success."
The HMAS Sydney was a Leander cruiser of the Royal Australian Navy with an illustrious battle record.
In November 1941 it had been engaged in troop ship escort duties between Australia and South East Asia.
On its return to Fremantle it encountered a German raider disguised as a merchant vessel off Carnarvon on the WA coast. The HSK Kormoran opened fire and both ships were sunk following the ensuing battle.
"We greatly appreciate the generous funding offered by New South Wales as our fundraising gains further momentum," Mr Graham said.
"The importance of closure to the relatives of those lost and the national importance of the search can never be underestimated."
The search area for HMAS Sydney is expected to encompass up to 1,450 square nautical miles and at a water depth of between 2,000 and 4,000 metres.
It was determined following detailed investigations, including testimony from survivors of the HSK Kormoran.
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