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(Royal Netherlands Navy)
Admiralen Class Destroyer
322' / 31.2' / 9.9'
4 x 4.7” (4 x 1)
2 x 75mm
4 x .50 cal MG
6 torpedo’s (2 x 3)
4 x depth charges
Hr Ms prewar
On February 18, left Tjiltjap in the evening for an attack on Japanese forces landing at Bali. She's accompanied by destroyers Kortenaer, Piet Hein, Ford and Pope. Kortenaer becomes stranded on a sandbar and has to wait for the tide to become freed.
However, while back in the Java Sea several months later, on 5th November 2004 we did another dive on the upside down section, and while several of us were searching for clues to positively identify the wreck, the owner/skipper (Vidar Skoglie) of the dive vessel we operate from (MV Empress), 'swam', with the aid of a diver propulsion vehicle or underwater scooter, about 30 to 40 metres away from the upside down section (again in very poor/ even worse visibility than on our first visit) to a 'lump' that had previously shown up on the side scan sonar. Sure enough, it was the stern section of Kortenaer laying well over on its starboard side, with propellers and rudder visible and one set of triple torpedo tubes also visible amongst the large amounts of fishing net that is draped over the wreckage. This was finally THE positive identification we were looking for as no other warship lost in that area had triple torpedo tubes!
Regretfully, although I was this time prepared to take some photos or video I could/did not as the visibility was even worse than the first time we were there (when I also did not take photos/video), probably only 1 to 2 metres or even less in parts this time, what we refer to as 'braille diving', which is simply hopeless for photography."
Between 2002 to 2016, the shipwreck was dived by Indonesian salvage divers that illegally removed scrap metal and completely scrapped the shipwreck by November 2016. During November 2016, the Netherlands Defence Ministry said in a statement: “The wrecks of HNLMS De Ruyter and HNLMS Java have seemingly gone completely missing. A large piece is also missing of HNLMS Kortenaer.”
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