http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22 ... 77,00.html
AN official search for sunken World War II light cruiser HMAS Sydney will begin early next year, with a world famous shipwreck hunter at the helm.
Sydney was sunk off the West Australian coast 66 years ago today by the disguised German mercantile raider Kormoran, with the loss of all 645 crewmen.
In August, a group of West Australian amateur researchers said they had found the wreckage, but within a day their claim was discredited, with other experts declaring it most unlikely that it really was Sydney.
The HMAS Sydney Search Foundation today announced it would begin looking for the vessel in January or February with $4.2 million in federal funding, $500,000 from the WA Government and $250,000 from the New South Wales Government.
HMAS Sydney Search director Ted Graham said about 1500 sq nautical miles of water off WA's northern coast would be searched, reaching depths of 2500-4500m.
"The scale and complexity involved in such a search is significant, Mr Graham said.
"However, advances in technology, exhaustive archival research and the recent increase in government funding for the search, provide our best chance yet of success in finding HMAS Sydney II."
The search will be coordinated by shipwreck hunter David Mearns, who found two legendary WWII vessels, HMS Hood and the German battleship Bismarck. (Andy edit - Mearns "re-found" the Bismarck)
The Kormoran was also sunk as a result of the battle with the Sydney and the 317 survivors from 397 aboard that ship were picked up over the next few days, giving the only witness accounts of what occurred.