A Royal Australian Navy submarine that vanished in 1914 has been found, ending a 103-year maritime mystery.
The disappearance of HMAS AE1, Australia’s first submarine, remained one of the persistent mysteries of Australia’s military history, according to a statement by the Australian Navy.
AE1 was lost off Rabaul on Sept. 14, 1914, with 35 crew members on board. It was the first loss for the Royal Australian Navy and the first Allied submarine loss in World War I.
The 800-ton submarine was located in waters off the coast of the Duke of York Island group in Papua New Guinea this week. It was discovered by the search vessel ‘Fugro Equator,’ which is equipped with advanced search technology.
The Royal Australian Navy and other search groups were surprised that the vessel was remarkably well preserved and apparently in one piece.
A small commemorative service was held by those onboard the search vessel to remember those officers and sailors who lost their lives 103 years ago, the statement said.