The Finding Sydney Foundation (The Foundation) announced today it had awarded the Deep Tow Side Scan Sonar Search and Vessel and Survey Positioning Contracts for the upcoming search for HMAS Sydney II and HSK Kormoran.
Both ships were lost following a battle off the Western Australian coral coast in November 1941. HMAS Sydney II and her complement of 645 men did not survive. HSK Kormoran was damaged and scuttled, with 317 of her nearly 400 crew surviving the engagement.
The Foundation Chairman, Mr. Ted Graham, is delighted to announce that the award of the Side Scan Sonar Search Contract to Williamson and Associates Inc, of Seattle US, and the Vessel and Survey Positioning Contract to DOF Subsea Australia Pty Ltd with their vessel the SV Geosounder.
“Williamson is one of the leading contractors in the world to conduct this type of search activity” Mr Graham said “We have been working with them for some time now to ensure everything is set to go”.
Securing a vessel was challenging as schedules had to be matched with the weather window of opportunity to conduct the search and the mobilisation of the side scan sonar equipment from Seattle.
“The SV Geosounder schedule matched the equipment schedule to give the best scenario of search days on the water and our audit of the vessel was very positive” Mr Graham said.
The Foundation has also contracted Electric Pictures Pty. Ltd, a leading independent TV production company from Western Australia, to produce a film of the Finding Sydney Project. A film crew will be onboard the SV Geosounder for the duration of the offshore search activities. Electric Pictures Managing Director, Mr Andrew Ogilvie advised, “We are extremely pleased to be given this opportunity to document a very important part of Australian history and The Foundation’s efforts to locate the HMAS Sydney II”.
The Foundation’s Offshore Search Director, Mr David Mearns, will shortly be arriving in Perth to prepare for the search. The SV Geosounder is due in Geraldton later in the month and will mobilise to the search area before the end of February.
Mr Graham congratulated his fellow Directors, the Project Manager Mr. Patrick Flynn, the Royal Australian Navy, Mr. David Mearns, and Contractors Williamson & Associates, DOF Subsea and Electric Pictures, for working through the issues to allow this most important search to get underway.
He also thanked the Australian Government and the Western Australian and New South Wales Governments, relatives of Sydney II’s crew, and countless businesses, whose support and funding contributions have enabled the search to go ahead.
The Finding Sydney Foundation