In 1943, a Japanese submarine torpedoed New Zealand merchant ship, MV Limerick. The 8,700-ton ship sank at 6:30 a.m. on April 26, 1943. The ship took only two crew-members down with it, as the approximately 70 others on board were rescued by navy minesweeper escorts.
The location of the MV Limerick had remained unknown until February 5, when a scientific research voyage confirmed that a shipwreck found by fishermen last year was in fact the MV Limerick. The fishermen first identified the wreck approximately 18km east of Ballina, in 100m water.
According to Tom Hubble, University of Sydney geologist Associate Professor, a 3D image was created of the wreck, which enabled them to positively identify it. Of the identification, Hubble stated, “It was exciting to see the wreck come up and then you think, well there are a couple of chaps who died when she went down and we’ve been able to find the wreck and that will give their families a certain amount of relief and closure I guess.”