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Australian WWII warship grave HMAS Perth stripped by salvagers

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Survivors, historians and Defence personnel have been horrified to discover that the wreck of HMAS Perth, which was sunk by the Japanese in 1942, is being destroyed by commercial salvagers in Indonesian waters.

Australian authorities have tried to keep the scandal a secret, fearing the issue might add fuel to the ongoing diplomatic tensions between Australia and Indonesia.

The warship, which sank in the Sunda Strait between Sumatra and Java, is the last resting place of as many as 355 Australian sailors who went down with the vessel after it was struck by multiple torpedoes.

But it has never been protected as an official war grave.

Australia and Indonesia are yet to ratify the UNESCO Convention on Underwater Cultural Heritage, a binding national treaty which would oblige both countries to protect such sites.

Since at least September, scuba divers have made official reports of large-scale damage to the wreck from a massive floating crane equipped with a salvage claw.

These reports have been made to the Australian embassy in Jakarta and to local officials in the Department of Environment and Heritage, and the Department of Defence.

Several salvage barges have been spotted in the area, and one was photographed in October dredging up the carcass of a Dutch submarine – the O-16 – which sank off the coast of Malaysia.

Sam Collett, a professional diver based in the Philippines, told reporters he last visited the wreck in September.

“Compared to previous trips I had made, the extent of commercial-scale salvaging was immediately obvious,” he said.

“On the boat trip back to the marina in Anyer we passed a salvage barge with a crane and claw and a large pile of what appeared to be wreckage on the deck.”

Andrew Fock, an expedition diver with a keen interest in HMAS Perth, said there was “extensive damage”.

“As best we can tell from the video footage supplied, most of the superstructure – if not all of it – is gone, the guns from the forward turret, the A-turret are missing.

“The gun houses for the two front turrets are missing, and most of the upper deck… is missing.

“The catapult has been removed, the bridge has been removed, the crane has been removed.”

An official report was lodged with the Department of Defence in October detailing the damage. The report said there was a strong possibility that human remains still exist within sections of the ship and that they risk being disturbed.

It warned action must be urgently taken to prevent further mass salvaging.

“It is probable that unless action is taken the salvers will return and continue to pull apart the wreck, especially if their previous efforts have been remunerative,” the document said.

“It should be noted that any attempt to remove the exposed starboard armour belt would likely involve its supporting structure and prove catastrophic to the integrity of the remaining hull structure.”

There have been other reports of the use of explosives by salvagers to break up the ship and make it easier to dredge.

In September, an Indonesian-based diver wrote: “The mid section above deck, where the bridge was, has been completely removed, the bow guns have been damaged by what appears to be explosives with the barrels missing and the tops peeled of [sic], the bow has collapsed completely.”

“Although it is hard to be certain, but as the metal that was the superstructure is all missing and is not lying around as debris it looks although we could be wrong like purposeful attempt to salvage the steel.”

The Defence report also made specific mention of risks posed by the fuel oil and ordnance on board the Perth.

The Indonesian-based diver did a second dive in September to confirm his findings. In an email, he reported that the vessel is now too “unstable” to allow divers to penetrate the interior of the ship.

“She has been hammered and the once impressive six inch A1 and A2 turrets are gone, the bow is flat and… the wreck is more hazardous than before – even for general swimming around, with lots of live ordinance, wire and overhanging metal.”

“The explosions have unearthed a fair amount of WW2 live rounds and what look like modern explosives (plastic flare shaped things) I assume from the salvage also appear to be lying about, be very careful what you poke in the sand/silt.”

To read more on this story, click here.

 

Source: www.au.news.yahoo.com

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Murex Bangka Announce New Oceanfront Cottages & Beachfront Dining

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dive resort indonesia

Located on a private, palm-fringed, white sand beach and surrounded by kaleidoscopic coral reefs that are bursting with colour and teeming with life, Murex Bangka Resort is a haven for scuba divers. A stay at Murex Bangka gives divers the opportunity to experience a virtually untouched, Indonesian tropical island paradise.

This stunning resort that harnesses solar power, is committed to sustainability and marine conservation – is now offering divers even more home comforts with the completion of its new Premium Oceanfront Cottages and a new restaurant offering exciting indoor and al fresco dining experiences.

NEW Premium Oceanfront Cottages

Murex Bangka Resort offers a duplex style and two detached Premium Oceanfront Cottages which are positioned close to the ocean and are just steps away from the beach.

These tastefully appointed and spacious air-conditioned rooms offer comfortable indoor living and large verandas with outdoor seating. Double and twin bed sleeping configurations are available and all Premium Oceanfront Cottages feature large ensuite bathrooms with twin basins.

dive resort indonesia

As well as the detached cottages, the duplex option offers two more individual premium living spaces. For families and groups of friends, the two adjoining duplex cottages and the shared adjoining common living room area may be opened up – making this an ideal and generously proportioned for option for families and groups who prefer to stay closer together.

dive resort indonesia

PREMIUM OCEANFRONT COTTAGE INCLUSIONS:

  • Large verandas with ceiling fans
  • Ensuite ocean view bathrooms with hot water rainfall showers
  • AC throughout the night
  • Minibar
  • Dressing table/desk area
  • Ample storage
  • King size or twin beds with mosquito nets
  • Complimentary drinking water
  • Floor to ceiling windows
  • Ample wall sockets for charging accessories
  • Comfortable indoor and outdoor seating
  • Shared common/living area (Duplex Cottages)

dive resort indonesia

New Beachfront Dining

After a day of diving, guests can now kick-back, relax and enjoy flavours from around the world in Murex Bangka’s new beachfront restaurant. As well as serving a la carte dishes from the inspiring menu, diners can enjoy both buffet and family-style offerings.

Dishes combine the freshest of local ingredients and include options for a range of dietary preferences and restrictions. Bangka’s new menu has been carefully curated with the assistance of an internationally renowned food and beverage consultant and there is a focus on combining traditional classics with more contemporary international plates.

dive resort indonesia

The new and impressive free standing main restaurant allows guests to dine just meters from the shore while enjoying beautiful beach and sea views. Three meals a day are on offer as well as an enticing selection of specialty coffees, teas, mocktails and cocktails. A wine menu is also available and a cold beer (or beverage of your choosing) makes for a perfect way to end the day while watching the sunset over the ocean.

dive resort indonesia

Book Your Stay

If you would like to find out more about Murex Bangka or to make a reservation, contact: reservations@MurexResorts.com or take a look at the Murex Resorts website: https://murexresorts.com/murex-bangka-resort/

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Oceanic+ Dive Housing Awarded the Red Dot Product Design Award 2024

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Oceanic, a pioneer in scuba diving technology for over 50 years, announces that its Oceanic+ Dive Housing has been honored with the prestigious 2024 Red Dot Design Award. This esteemed recognition underscores Oceanic’s commitment to innovation and excellence in product design.

The Red Dot Award is an internationally renowned accolade, celebrating exceptional design quality and innovation across various industries. Each year, thousands of products from around the globe undergo rigorous evaluation by an expert panel of judges, with only the most outstanding designs receiving this esteemed award.

The Oceanic+ Dive Housing impressed the jury with its sleek and functional design, seamlessly integrating with both Apple Watch Ultra and iPhone devices to transform them into fully functional dive computers. This innovative product not only enhances the diving experience but also exemplifies Oceanic’s dedication to providing cutting-edge solutions for divers worldwide.

“We are thrilled to receive the 2024 Red Dot Product Design Award for the Oceanic+ Dive Housing,” says Mike Huish, CEO of Huish Outdoors. “This accolade is a testament to our relentless pursuit of excellence in design and technology in the dive industry. We are immensely proud of our team’s hard work and commitment to innovation.”

The Oceanic+ Dive Housing joins the ranks of previous Red Dot Award winners, reaffirming Oceanic’s position as a leader in the dive industry. This prestigious recognition further solidifies Oceanic’s reputation for delivering exceptional quality and performance in its products.

About Oceanic

Founded in 1972 by industry-pioneer Bob Hollis, Oceanic is a global dive leader committed to providing innovative, reliable, accessible and easy-to-use dive equipment to recreational divers so they can focus on what matters most: exploring the underwater world and appreciating the wonders of marine life. For over 50 years this philosophy has been woven into everything Oceanic does and is the foremost reason the company is considered a best-in-class, recreational dive brand. Oceanic is one of Huish Outdoors’ premier dive brands. To learn more, please visit oceanicworldwide.com.

Sea & Sea is the home of Oceanic and other leading diving brands in the UK. 

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