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An attempt was made to steal a cannon from the wreck of HMS Hermes

An investigation by Sri Lanka’s National Aquatic Resources Agency (NARA) authorities has revealed an attempt to remove one of the guns from the wreck of the British aircraft carrier HMS Hermes. The vessel, sunk during World War II, is one of the main diving attractions in the region. The aircraft carrier was sunk on the
Published: September 2, 2011 - 09:35
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 07:04
An attempt was made to steal a cannon from the wreck of HMS Hermes

HMS_Hermes

An investigation by Sri Lanka’s National Aquatic Resources Agency (NARA) authorities has revealed an attempt to remove one of the guns from the wreck of the British aircraft carrier HMS Hermes. The vessel, sunk during World War II, is one of the main diving attractions in the region.

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The aircraft carrier was sunk on the morning of April 11, 1942. By a Japanese bomber squadron. The clash lasted only 15min. Hermes was hit by an overwhelming enemy force and after numerous hits sank very quickly, taking with her 307 crew members to the bottom.

The remains of this magnificent ship attract both local divers and wreck diving enthusiasts from all over the world to go underwater.

Photographs taken by NARA photographers, show an apparent attempt to remove some of the unit’s equipment, including one of its anti-aircraft guns. Divers exploring Hermes said that the main turret was destroyed during the sinking of the vessel, but the rest of it is in excellent condition and should be maintained as such.

The anti-aircraft guns and other weaponry are what attract divers from all over the world to visit this World War II Pacific monument. The wreck is an important attraction in Sri Lankan diving tourism and everyone is keen to ensure that it is properly secured and kept intact.

Resting on the bottom of HMS Hermes is, as is usual with such large vessels, a habitat providing refuge, for many species of fish, and beautiful corals thrive on its surface.

“The ship is covered by black corals and barracuda, cod and tuna have made their home in large numbers,” said Arjan Rajasuriya, NARA biologist

However, the abundance of marine life also poses a threat to the British aircraft carrier, as the local fishermen, when fishing, do not disguise themselves and often resort to dynamite.

To protect the wrecks, which are a cultural heritage of the place but also a tourist and archaeological attraction, NARA is working very hard to secure Sri Lanka’s underwater treasures.

Source: sundaytimes.lk

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Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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