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JAPANESE SUBMARINE WRECK VANDALISED

Friday March 15th, 2013
JAPANESE SUBMARINE WRECK VANDALISED

A Japanese mini submarine that attacked Sydney Harbour during WWII has been targeted by vandals who have damaged the wreckage and stolen parts and protected relics. The submarine was part of a three vessel mission two of which were scuttled by their crews, who committed suicide. The third was only discovered in 2006 by scuba divers exploring the waters off Sydney’s northern beach after which authorities established and exclusion zone around it.

The vessel is believed to contain the remains of the two crew members and personal items including samurai swords and good luck charms. The wreck is apparently monitored by long-range cameras but it was discovered during an archaeological inspection that divers managed to get into the sight, damage the hull and steel relics. An appeal by Australia's Environment Department for information, did not specify what had been taken.

A spokesperson for the department said, 'The resulting damage includes the breaking off and removal of two of three visible propeller blades ... of the submarine, causing permanent damage to a significant piece of Australia's WWII heritage.'

If caught, the guilty party’s face up to five years in prison and a fine of up to AU$1.1m (£763,000).
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