Sunken hospital ship found after 67 years

Shipwreck hunters have captured the first underwater footage of a Second World War hospital ship sunk by the Japanese in 1943 with 268 people killed.

Shipwreck hunters have captured the first underwater footage of a Second World War hospital ship sunk by the Japanese in 1943 with 268 people killed.

A search team sent a submarine robot more than 6,500ft down to get the images of the Australian vessel Centaur.

They showed the ship’s bright red cross and a corroded 47, its identification number.

The Centaur sank off the Queensland state coast. Just 64 of the 332 people on board survived.

Expedition leader David Mearns found sonar footage of the Centaur on December 20.

Today Mearns and his crew sent the submarine robot into the depths again to take a second round of pictures, which included an image of the ship’s bell and an escape hatch that one survivor climbed through just before the Centaur sank.

Yesterday Queensland Acting Premier Paul Lucas called on Japan to apologise for the sinking.

“Whilst the Japanese have certainly apologised for their actions during the Second World War, it would be appropriate for those involved to express an apology,” he said. “In this barbaric act, people lost their lives. Sailors, soldiers, nurses, doctors, orderlies. It was totally senseless and a wanton act.”

The Centaur will be marked as a military grave and protected.

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