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Mystery Ship That Vanished with 32 Crew Members on Board Finally Found After 120 Years

A 120-year-old mystery of a missing ship that vanished without a trace off the coast of Australia has finally been solved — thanks to undersea explorers who stumbled on it by luck.

The SS Nemesis was transporting coal to Melbourne, Australia, in July 1904 when it got caught in a powerful storm off New South Wales and vanished along with its 32 crew members.

In the weeks after the storm, bodies of crew members and fragments of the ship’s wreckage washed ashore at Cronulla Beach about 18 miles south of Sydney.

The loss generated a media storm and intense public interest, but wreckage of the 240-foot vessel was never found and its final resting place remained a mystery.

Subsea Professional Marine Services, a remote sensing company searching the ocean floor off the coast of Sydney for lost cargo in 2022, accidentally stumbled upon the missing shipwreck.

The wreck was found completely untouched, about 16 miles offshore under nearly 525 feet of water.

Officials suspected the sunken ship was the SS Nemesis, but they had to use specialized underwater imagery to confirm the wreckage’s distinctive features aligned with historical photographs and sketches of the coal freighter.

Images revealed the ship’s iron wreck rested upright on a sand plain. Its bow and stern were significantly damaged.

The discovery revealed that the ship went down because its engine became overwhelmed due to the storm. Experts believe the SS Nemesis began to sink so quickly after being struck by a large wave that the crew did not have time to deploy lifeboats.

Officials have urged families who lost ancestors on the ship to come forward.

“Around 40 children lost their parents in this wreck and I hope this discovery brings closure to families and friends connected to the ship who have never known its fate,” NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage Penny Sharpe said.

Local Wollongong MP Paul Scully noted that only 105 of the more than 200 believed shipwrecks off the New South Wales coast have been discovered, and praised the “important find.”

Australia’s science minister Ed Husic also applauded the discovery, which he hopes will provide comfort to the descendants of the 32 sailors who died aboard the SS Nemesis.

“Every Australian should take heart in the curiosity and persistence our scientists have shown in this project, as they do in all their work,” Husic said.

Officials said members of the lost crew came from Australia, the United Kingdom and Canada.

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