Search for HMAS Sydney II

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Inger Sheil

David Mearns, who found the Hood, is hoping to locate the wreck of HMAS Sydney before the 60th Anniversary of the end of WWII later this year. He has been researching the Sydney since 2003, but was hired this month by the Finding Sydney Foundation.

Hope they do find her. Lost with all hands, she represents Austalia's largest loss of life in a naval engagement, and - while there are no guarantees - locating the wreck might answer some questions about her loss.

The families of those who perished with her, while there are some understandably ambiguous feelings about locating her, deserve to know where she lies.
This was an amazing action, Sydney was a light cruiser, and Kormoran was a German Auxillary Cruiser,(read armed merchantman)
I wish them luck, it would be interesting to see what kind of condition Sydney is in.
All seems to have gone quiet on the Sydney search.

After getting government support for the first phase of the search, David Mearns said he would look for Kormoran using sonar. He stressed that it would cost a great deal more to send cameras to the wreck. Since then, nothing seems to have happened. Mearns's company site has not been updated for years.

Anybody got any recent news?
Maybe it's funding. I think it's likely that Mearns simply hasn't a clue where to look.

The original navigational data is vague and the waters have been muddied by wild speculations. The navigational data for Titanic was bad enough, but the data for Kormoran and Sydney is very weak.

Another problem is that Kormoran may be a very difficult target. If a good number of her mines exploded, Mearns would not be looking for a sunken ship. She'd just be so much scrap steel.

It's all very well to get enthusiastic about finding Sydney if you don't have to pay for it.
Yes - good point about Kormoran's intactness or otherwise.

From memory though, the mines were stored towards the stern so it's possible a large part of the bow/midships is intact? Also, I think she was observed by the survivors to sink by the stern which would perhaps indicate (as you might expect) gross damage to the stern from in explosions, but perhaps much less up front.
Of course this neglects where the magazines for the 5.9", smaller guns and torpedoes were stored, so it's all speculation really.

>>It's all very well to get enthusiastic about finding Sydney if you don't have to pay for it.
Very true Dave. But fascinating none the less.
I know we Aussies can be ratbags, in some cases raving ratbags, but this one takes the cake.

I notice that these weird tales all come via the same paper. I don't know what the paper's general reputation is. Maybe it's like Weekly World News.

As with Titanic, quite a cottage industry has grown up around HMAS Sydney and some of the "theories" are right up with the nuttiest Titanic tales.
The Post is in fact a free, rather parochial, paper, with a circulation of 50,000. It contains stories about local matters on the coast near Perth. No major paper has run it's stories about HMAS Sydney.
I keep checking on Mearns without any results. His web site is still incomplete, so there's no news directly from him.

My gut feeling is that nothing will happen unless the Australian government funds the whole thing. Mearns after all is out to make a profit from books and TV. The navigational data he has is very vague and the search would be very difficult and might end in failure. In the end, there's no money in a book or TV show called How I Didn't Find HMAS Sydney.
I agree.
Mearns' problem I think is that he needs to FIND Sydney in order to make it a commercial success, and as said earlier with scant data (even with the newer theories) the search areas are still enormous. So it's a big risk for him.

I don't understand the Australian Government's reluctance to fund the search - at national government level it's not a HUGE expense and the potential for good patriotic publicity for a find is great. Indeed, it seems to me there's almost an air of discontent with the government from various circles (relatives etc.) for their apparent lacklustre approach to the whole Sydney affair. Contrast this with the US approach to missing Vietnam victims - substantial sums spent on discovering the remains & repatriating fallen service men.
The repressed conspiracy theorist in me wonders if the government perhaps..... is reluctant to have Sydney found..... ?
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