Friday 26 February 2021

British start investigation into vanished Java Sea ships

The HNLMS Kortenaer in the 1930s

The HNLMS Kortenaer in the 1930s

The British authorities have started an investigation into the disappearance of seven shipwrecks – including three Dutch navy vessels – from the Java Sea.

Earlier this week, Dutch defence minister Jeanine Hennis said the wrecks of cruisers HNLMS De Ruyter and HMLMS Java and much of destroyer HMLMS Kortenaer has vanished from the sea bed.

The Guardian newspaper then reported that three British ships and a US submarine have also been destroyed by illegal scrap metal scavengers.

The British government has now contacted Indonesian authorities to express ‘serious concern’ and request they investigate and take ‘appropriate action to protect the sites from any further disturbance’, the paper said.

The discovery of the illegal salvage was made by divers during preparations for next year’s 75 year anniversary commemorations, Hennis said in a statement to parliament.

The battle, involving Dutch, British, American and Australian ships, took place on February 27, 1942 and proved disastrous for the allies. Some 2,200 people died, including 900 Dutch nationals and 250 people of Indonesian Dutch origin.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.