The Shipwreck Hunter
A lifetime of extraordinary discovery in the deep seas
By David L Mearns
Published by Allen & Unwin
RRP $32.99 in paperback ISBN 9781760295219
David Mearns is a US-born marine scientist, researcher and deep-sea shipwreck hunter who has solved many deep sea mysteries involving shipwrecks. Australian readers may be familiar with his earlier book, The Search for the Sydney.
In this latest book, he details his life’s work in discovering some of the world’s most fascinating and elusive shipwrecks. Not only have his deep-water searches solved the enduring mystery of the fate of HMAS Sydney sunk off the Western Australian coast in 1941, but he has also discovered the final resting place of the mighty battlecruiser HMS Hood.
He writes too about his discovery of the Australian Hospital Ship Centaur, sunk on 14 May 1943. Public interest in the discovery of Centaur’s final resting place had been sparked by his work in discovering the Sydney and the remains of the disguised German raider the Kormoran, which was responsible for the loss of the Sydney.
He writes too about his role in locating commercial vessels that have unexpectedly sunk at sea, including the MV Lucona, which sank as a result of a criminal conspiracy. Udo Proksch, the mastermind, ended his days in prison, serving a life sentence.
The Shipwreck Hunter is a truly compelling story of his life and work on the high seas, focusing on some of his most intriguing discoveries. It details the extraordinary techniques used, the research, the painstaking historical detective work and the mid-ocean stamina and courage needed to find a wreck kilometres beneath the sea, as well as the moving human stories that lie behind each of these oceanic tragedies.
I’d thoroughly recommend this book to anyone with maritime interests.
To find out more about David Mearns, read this interview on the blog of the Australian National Maritime Museum – AT THIS LINK