Divers find Dutch WWII submarine off Borneo after 70 years
Sport divers off the northern coast of Borneo have discovered the wreck of a Dutch World War II submarine, missing for the past 70 years, the Dutch defence ministry said Monday.
"The Hr. Ms. KXVI, which has been missing with a crew of 36 since 1941, has been found," it said in a statement released in The Hague.
"It was discovered by Australian and Singaporean sport divers in the waters 'above' the island of Borneo after a tip-off from a local fisherman," the ministry added.
It did not state the exact location of the wreck out of respect for the dead crew and their descendants.
The 1,000-tonne KXVI was part of the Allied fleet tasked with stopping the Japanese invasion of the then Dutch East Indies. It torpedoed the Japanese submarine hunter Sagiri on Christmas Eve 1941, only to be sunk itself the following day by a Japanese submarine.
The latest find brings to six the number of Dutch submarines lost during the war that have now been found, the ministry said. Only one wreck, that of the Hr. Ms. O 13, remains missing somewhere in the North Sea.
Borneo, the world's third largest island, is split between Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia.
© 2011 AFP