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



Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

3 easy dinner recipes your kids will love, and so will you

No Caption

THERE is a middle ground! Dinners fit for kids and adults.

How to reduce your child's risk of food allergies

ABOUT 90% of food allergies are caused by just seven foods.

5 good mental health habits for kids (and parents)

CRYING OUT FOR HELP: The demand for counselling support for children and young people is increasing.

FORMING good habits early is critical for your child's mental health.

Smack or no smack - where do you stand?

THE debate is reignited - is smacking acceptable?

Susie O'Neill: Why I stopped smacking my children

Swimming legend Susie O'Neill says she has stopped smacking her kids.

“I (smacked) because that’s what I knew growing up."

Introducing a step-parent into the family

Introducing a step-parent into the family can be stressful for the children, as well as the new parent.

THERE is no easy way to introduce a step parent into the family.

City traffic congests

MERRY GO ROUND: U-turn bays are situated at the intersection re-directing traffic to alternative routes around the CBD, creating traffic congestion.

Works congest traffic flow in Coffs CBD

Sand dumping expected for damaged coastal dunes

Coffs Harbour lifeguard Alistair Lane,  beach erosion Park Beach 01 March 2016Photo: Trevor Veale / The Coffs Coast Advocate

Sand dumping expected for damaged dunes

Prominent Coffs Harbour beach resort listed for sale

The Aanuka Beach Resort has been listed for sale

Prominent Coffs Harbour beach resort listed for sale

Latest deals and offers

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum

Justice Lucy McCallum says she reduced Oliver Curtis's sentence due to comments...

Perisher has 50cm of snow

Resort to open after 50cm of snow.

Smiggin Holes and Blue Cow to open after 50cm of snaow falls in Perisher valley.

Rider with bikie links leaves crash scene

Police say a motorcyclist, who is suspected to have links to an outlaw motorcycle...

Local rent labelled too costly

UNAFFORDABLE: Coffs Harbour’s rentals are too costly according to the latest Rental Affordability Index.

Local rental prices too costly, index says

Commercial Property June 16 edition

SNAPPED UP: A sushi shop in a106sq mground-floor tenancy with a 43sq moutdoor area in Southport Central Towers on the Gold Coast has sold for $954,000.

RealCommercial edition June 16, 2016.