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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Photographing and Filming of the Wreck of AHS Centaur

The "Seahorse Spirit" left Brisbane again on Friday 8 January 2010. David Mearns and his team carried out three hours of commissioning testing of the submersible ROV Remora 3 by taking high definition footage of the wreck of the SS Kyogle at approximate position 26° 59.32’ South 153°38.58’ East at a depth of 178 metres before moving out to the site of the Centaur. This footage again confirmed that it was not the Centaur.

The "Seahorse Spirit" arrived over the Centaur at about 4:45pm on Saturday 9 January 2010. Remora 3 will make about four visits down to the Centaur. The first was a reconnaissance visit which started at 8:15pm on Saturday night, 9 January 2010. It was then intended to make three further visits to the site over the following two days.

The first photos of the hospital ship Centaur were taken at about 2:50am on the morning of Sunday 10 January 2010. The pictures confirm that Centaur is sitting on a sandy bottom at a depth of about 2059 metres and listing about 25 degrees to the port side. The Red Crosses indicating that it was a hospital ship are clearly visible in one of the first photos released. A distinctive star could also be seen on the bow along with the corroded identification number 47. It took almost 2 hours to lower Remora 3 down into position.

(AAP: Bruce Long)

The Centaur's red cross can be seen in the first
footage taken of the ship since it sank in WWII.

The pictures and footage have clearly shown the mast, anchor, guard rails and the paravane mounted on the starboard bow which was used for cutting cables on moored mines. The bow of Centaur is almost completely severed from the rest of the ship.

A problem with one of the "Seahorse Spirit's" main engines meant they had to limit the time of the first recce ROV dive. The strong seabed currents also created issues with "dust storms" created by disturbed sediment limiting camera vision on some occasions.

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