The Dutch submarine HNLMS K XVI which was sunk in the South China Sea during World War II has been found. An Australian-Singaporean sports diving team found the long-sought submarine in the waters off the island of Borneo in early October after being tipped-off by a local fisherman.
Experts from the Royal Netherlands Navy have studied photographs of the wreck taken by the diving team and they have found distinct features which are unique to Dutch submarines. From this information, together with the location of the submarine relative to other sunken Dutch submarines, it has been confirmed that it is the K XVI. This brings an end to a long period of uncertainty for the families of the crew and the relatives have been informed by the Navy Commander, Vice Admiral Matthieu Borsboom.
In 2002, shortly after the successful expedition that found the Submarine O-20, the first search expedition for the submarine KXVI took place. Excited by the success of finding the submarine O-20, we had high hopes to locate the Submarine KXVI soon. Reality proved different. After days of searching with sonar the seafloor seemed unwilling to give away anything.
Report by Katja Boonstra of the search expedition for K-XVI, 9-20 May 2003.