The uncharted wreck found yesterday, off Rabaul in Papua New Guinea, is likely to be a World War II Japanese submarine.
Underwater vision taken by the Australian Minehunter, HMAS Gascoyne shows the wreck of a submarine, 55 meters below the surface in Simpson Harbour. The wreck is partially buried in the harbour floor but remains upright.
There had been initial media speculation that this may have been the wreck of HMAS AE1 – Australia's first submarine, lost in waters east of Rabaul during World War I in September 1914.
The imagery obtained by HMAS Gascoyne was examined by RAN historical staff, who concluded that the wreck is not AE1 but a Japanese submarine.
The Royal Australian Navy will now work with Japanese authorities to assist in determining the wreck's identity.
HMAS Gascoyne was taking part in Operation RENDER SAFE 2011 – the Australian Defence Force (ADF) contribution to explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) in the Pacific. This year, RENDER SAFE is being conducted in Rabaul over the period 18 October to 4 November.