Life raft light float, hospital ship Centaur : Lieutenant Colonel L M Outridge

Place Oceania: Australia, Queensland
Accession Number REL/00094
Collection type Technology
Object type Maritime vessel or watercraft
Physical description Alloy, Brass, Chrome-plated brass, Glass, Wood (painted red)
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Red funnel-shaped wooden float with a light fitting. The float tapers at the end and finishes with a brass weight that has been screwed into the end to ensure that the float remains upright in the water. The weight has a hole through the middle. The top of the float features a 40mm diameter tube, 85 mm high, which serves as a battery compartment, to which is fitted a globe and a nickel or chrome plated frame for the missing glass cover. Approximately 34 mm from the top of the float is a 52 x 34mm alloy mounting plate (screwed in) with a key-hole shaped cut out, designed for mounting the float when not in use.

History / Summary

Life raft distress light float from the hospital ship "Centaur". The float was recovered by the donor's husband, Lieutenant Colonel Leslie MacDonald Outridge, 2/2 Australian Casualty Clearing Station, who was the only surviving doctor from the ship after it was torpedoed and sunk off the Queensland coast near Cape Morton on 14 May 1943 by Japanese submarine, I-177, commanded by Lieutenant Commander Nakagawa. Of the 332 people aboard the Centaur, only 64 survived, clinging to wreckage.