More than a hundred years after it had disappeared, Australia’s first submarine was finally discovered. The submarine, called AE-1 , went missing on September 14, 1914, with a crew of 35 on board. It was the first Allied submarine loss of the war.
After decades of searching, the missing Australian sub was found about 300 metres underwater, off the coast of Papua New Guinea. It appears to be well-preserved and in one piece. Experts are now trying to examine the wreck and find out why the sub sank. They think it was probably an accident and not because of enemy fire.
The sub was on a mission to occupy German New Guinea, one of the German colonies in the Pacific.
In the past, there were 13 government – funded searches for the sub but, until now, none of them proved successful. When the submarine was found navy officials held a commemorative service for the crew that the Australian navy had lost. Families were contacted and told that the oldest naval mystery in Australian history had finally been solved.
- Allied = group of countries that fought together in the first and second World Wars
- appear = seems to be
- coast = where land meets the sea
- colony = area that is under control by a government that is far away
- commemorative service = event that shows you remember and respect something important that happened a long time ago
- crew = all the people who worked on the sub
- decade = ten years
- disappear = here: to get lost
- discover = here : find
- enemy fire = attack by the enemy
- examine = look at something closely in order to find out more about it
- government – funded = paid for by the state
- in one piece = not broken
- loss = not having something anymore
- mission = important job, done by the army, air force or navy
- naval = about the navy
- navy = part of a country’s military that fights at sea
- occupy = to enter a place with an army and keep control of it
- official = here: a person in a high position in an organisation
- prove successful = if something you try to do really works the way you want it to
- submarine = ship that can stay underwater for a longer period of time
- well-preserved = in good condition
- wreck = a ship that has sunk