Wreck off Ballina coast identified

THE WRECK of one of the largest ships sunk by the Japanese off Australia's far north coast, discovered late last year 18km off Ballina, has finally been positively identified as the MV Limerick.

Local fishermen using modern depth sonars had identified the large shipwreck in about 100 metres of water.

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage contacted Australia's Marine National Facility, which operates the research vessel Southern Surveyor, and was planning operations in the area between Yamba and Fraser Island last month, to see if they could locate the wreck.

Sydney University geologist Associate Professor Tom Hubble said the crew of the Southern Surveyor had been pleased to assist in confirming the wreck as being the MV Limerick.

The New Zealand-owned vessel had been part of a coastal wartime convoy of five ships travelling from Sydney to Brisbane when it was struck by a torpedo on Anzac Day, 1943. The four other ships survived.

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