australias first world war 1 submarine ae1 found

28 October 2011 15:45:00 AEDT

Submarines - the ultimate surf travel vehicle. submarines hold a special place in the hearts of the surfing Atlas team and news just coming in offers a strong likelihood that we have just found the AE1 - Australia's first Submarine, lost with all hands off New Guinea in 1914.

The RAN's first submarine sank with all 35 hands on September 15, 1914 off the Duke of York Islands. It was Australia's first naval loss of the Great War.

On Wednesday afternoon, as two Australian and New Zealand navy vessels scanned the sea bottom looking for unexploded munitions, the outline of a wreck appeared on the screen of the hydrographic survey vessel HMNZS Resolution.

The find was in the Simpson Harbour area not far from where the 600-tonne AE1 was last sighted near the entrance of Mioko Harbour.

A navy inquiry found the submarine sank during a dive or hit a reef.

Several searches have been mounted for the submarine over the years, with the most recent involving two navy vessels in 2007.

During that search a "wreck" the same size as the sub was identified but was later found to be a rock.

The submarine, under the command of Royal Navy Lieutenant Thomas Besant, was to assist with the capture of German New Guinea.

The AE1's crew had consisted of 20 Britons, 14 Australians and a New Zealander.

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7569b9a198b46a3b7f2ce6974fd1d6d8 otway1949
Spots: 33
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Joined: 09-12-2008
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over 11 years ago
This is a great find for two reasons, one, to honour the men and the concept, and two perhaps the first Australian and New Zealand bottom of the harbour scheme. A segway on this is the Harbour is Simpson Harbour, and currently there is a re-evaluation of Simpson and his donkey for a Victoria cross. The sister boat to the AE1 the AE2 did quite well in the Sea of Marmara supporting the Gallipoli campaign.

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