The Montevideo Maru, a Japanese ship, was found 81 years after it sank. The American submarine USS Sturgeon torpedoed the ship twice on July 1, 1942.
The ship’s crew was unaware of the presence of Allied prisoners. Approximately 1000 prisoners died during the sinking.
This event is one of the major Australian maritime tragedies. 976 Australians died that day. They had been taken prisoner in New Guinea during the “Battle of Rabaul”.
The wreck was discovered by the Silentworld Foundation, an underwater archaeology society. A Dutch deep-sea survey company, Fugro, also provided assistance.
The wreck of the cargo ship was located off the Philippines in the South China Sea. At a depth of 4,000 meters, the Montevideo Maru will remain intact. The ship is now a military grave with its 1000 victims. Out of respect, it must be treated with appropriate behavior.
According to the international laws, the coastal State shall not acquire any right of ownership over a wreck of a ship or aircraft by reason of its location on the land or seabed over which it exercises sovereignty or jurisdiction.