News

Diving for Anzac relics

Mark Spencer prepares for his next descent.
Mark Spencer prepares for his next descent. Contributed

THE underwater photographer who captured the resting place of an Australian World War I submarine, sunk during the Battle of Gallipoli, will return to where the Diggers landed.

Coffs Harbour’s Mark Spencer will join a team of divers and archaeologists at Anzac Cove in May aiming to uncover pieces of Australian war history lost beneath the waves for 95 years.

“We are hoping to locate, map and archive anything from soldiers’ helmets, bayonets, rifles, even the cigarette lighters carried by the fallen Anzacs,” Mr Spencer said.

“To our advantage, the ocean is forever uncovering relics off Anzac Cove and Turkish divers have reported seeing magazines full of bullets near the landing sites.”

Respected journalist Mike Munro and a Channel Seven film crew plan to accompany the team to Gallipoli, filming a documentary on their discoveries, which could air nationally.

The expedition will be Mark’s first visit to Gallipoli since the history-making dive in 1998, where he sighted the sunken Australian submarine HMAS AE2 at the bottom of the Dardanelles Straits.

“On my first descent over the wreck, I allowed myself a few minutes to appreciate the significance of the moment,” he said.

“Surprisingly, I felt closer to the Anzacs 72 metres under the sea than I did standing in the trenches at Gallipoli.”

The AE2 was one of two Royal Australian Navy submarines to see combat during World War I.

It was scuttled in the Sea of Marmara after damage by shellfire from a Turkish vessel after it had torpedoed an enemy gun ship.

The 33-man crew, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Stoker, surrendered and were held as Prisoners Of War until 1918.

Since the wreck was rediscovered, Mark says he has been disappointed to learn that the AE2 has been damaged by the nets and anchors of local fishing fleets.

But the submarine will remain in its watery grave, after archaeological surveys found it would be impossible to raise and preserve the wreck.

Mark’s upcoming dives around Anzac Cove will be jointly funded by Channel Seven and Australian Geographic, while the opportunity is also open to local business to sponsor the expedition.

For more information visit www.markspencer.com.au



Digging deep for National Tree Day

GREEN THUMBS: Jetty Dunecare volunteers ready for National Tree Day.

Digging deep for National Tree Day

Camping on agenda

GETTING OUTDOORS: Coffs Harbour City Council are investigating possible land packages that could be designated for RVs and self-sustainable vehicles.

Camping on agenda

Cops swoop on car in Coffs

HANDS ON: Police scour a Holden Rodeo in Coffs Harbour.

Vehicle search in Coffs CBD leads to multiple arrests

Latest deals and offers

#SaveMarinaJoyce: How ISIS theory took over youtube channel

One young Youtuber accidentally gave rise to a conspiracy theory

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

A home rich in history looking for a new owner

HISTORY: The circa 1920s home is being sold for the first time in 90 years.

Circa 1920s home being sold for the first time in 90 years