Research by Australian and Sri Lankan hydrographers has possibly figured out the final resting place of destroyer HMAS Vampire, and the Royal Australian Navy has confirmed it will follow up the lead with the Sri Lankan Navy.
Nine sailors died when the Vampire sunk during a Japanese air attack off the Sri Lankan coast, when the destroyer was attempting to protect Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Hermes on 9 April 1942.
The Vampire's precise location has never been confirmed, however recent research has concluded there is a "strong chance" the ship's final resting place has been identified.
“This new information was shared during recent high-level Navy to Navy talks conducted in Colombo,” Commander of Australia’s Fleet, Rear Admiral Jonathan Mead said.
“We have always known roughly where the Vampire went down but its exact location has proved elusive.
“There are no guarantees of success but we owe it to the families of those on board to follow up this new lead.”
Australian hydrographic ship HMAS Leeuwin and mine hunter HMAS Diamantina are helping to assist with a more thorough search in the region.
“Whatever the outcome, we are most grateful to Sri Lanka for their co-operation and understanding," Rear Admiral Mead said.
“The Vampire story illustrates the enduring ties we have with Sri Lanka and the Indian Ocean region.”