This haunting new image of the Royal Australian Navy’s first submarine HMAS AE1 is providing researchers with valuable new clues about the final moments of the boat and her 35 crew.
Compiled by search company Fugro overnight, the shot clearly shows damage to AE1’s hull but its too soon to say how the submarine sank.
The image was compiled with information gathered using a multi-beam echo-sounder which conducted a bathymetric survey using a sophisticated autonomous underwater vehicle on board the survey vessel Fugro Equator.
Fugro Director of Marine Geophysics, Paul Kennedy says the image really brings home the extent of the tragedy.
“This was truly one of Australia’s most baffling maritime mysteries,” he said.
“We are delighted to have been part of the effort to locate the AE1 and to bring peace to the families of those men who perished.”
The Royal Australian Navy was one of several groups which helped fund the search for AE1 which was finally located this week off Duke of York Islands, Papua New Guinea.
It was the 13th search for the submarine since it vanished 103 years ago.
The Australian Government will work closely with the Papua New Guinean Government to consider a lasting commemoration and recognition of the crew of AE1 and to preserve the site.
The search has been jointly funded by the Commonwealth Government, Silentworld Foundation, the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Submarine Institute of Australia and Find AE1 Ltd; utilising Fugro Survey’s vessel and search technology.