When an anomalous sonar contact was identified by the deep tow system during operations in the southern Indian Ocean, Fugro’s search vessel Havila Harmony was tasked with further examination of the target. Analysis suggested the object was likely to be man-made, probably a shipwreck, and Fugro’s Echo Surveyor VII autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) was deployed from the 93-metre vessel to perform a high resolution sonar scan. On 2nd January the state-of-the-art AUV captured high resolution imagery of the sunken vessel.
Experts at the Western Australian Museum Shipwreck Galleries have conducted a preliminary review of some of the imagery and advised that the wreck is likely to be that of a steel or iron sailing vessel from the turn of the 19th century.
In an earlier discovery, Fugro’s search teams identified the wreck of what is thought to be the a 19th century merchant sailing ship, at a depth of around 3,900 metres of water. In May 2015 Fugro provided stunning imagery of the wreck together with what appears to be an anchor.
Although these contacts are not what the team is searching for, it corroborates the utilisation of the deep tow sonar equipment for the wide area search together with the AUV for detailed investigations.