Two Dutch warships that sank in 1942
in the Java Sea are completely gone, a third has large parts missing and three
British ships and a US submarine have also been destroyed by illegal scrap
metal scavengers. The UK Ministry of Defence has said it condemns the
“unauthorised disturbance of any wreck containing human remains” and requested
that Indonesian authorities take “appropriate action”.
Mystery as wrecks of three
Dutch WWII ships vanish from Java seabed
are fears the sunken vessels off Indonesia, which are the graves of 2,200
people, may have been salvaged for metal
Budi Utomo, the head of the Indonesian National Archeological Centre, part of
the education and culture ministry, said on Thursday that Indonesia could not be expected to protect
the sites without assistance.
“The Dutch government cannot blame
the Indonesian government because they never asked us to protect those ships.
As there was no agreement or announcement, when the ships go missing, it is not
British second world war
shipwrecks in Java Sea destroyed by illegal scavenging
Exclusive: 3D mapping report of sea off
Indonesia, seen by the Guardian, shows large holes in the seabed where ships
used to be
navy said the ships should not have been disturbed but it was not its
responsibility to protect them. “The Indonesian navy cannot monitor all areas
all the time,” navy spokesman Gig Jonias Mozes Sipasulta told Agence
France-Presse. “If they ask why the ships are missing, I’m going to ask them
back, why didn’t they guard the ships?”
Amateur divers discovered the
long-lost wrecks of three Dutch ships in 2002, 60 years after they sank while
in action against Japanese forces. However, an international expedition that
sailed to the site to take video footage in preparation for next year’s 75th
anniversary of the battle was shocked to discover that the wrecks had vanished.
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