First submergence. S/S Burdigala

The first submergence of 2015 expedition season took place at the location of the ocean liner “Burdigala” resting on a seabed close to the island of Kea. This wreck is commonly known only in scientific circles due to its close location to the tragically famous wreck of HMHS “Britannic”, which creates a sort of “Information Shadow”. There are at least two versions of the events that caused the wreckage of a beautiful liner S/S Burdigala: torpedo strike launched by the unknown submarine or the minefield laid by the same German U-73. Therefore, detailed investigation of the ship damages was the main task of our submergence.

Analyzing the damage taken by the steerable propeller, it became clear, that the liner had pulled in a mine under its body, what resulted in colossal destructions. Propellers were bent, some of the rotor blades were torn off, the steering folded upwards and due to the fact that propellers were on full speed, left bearing was destroyed, causing the failure of both engines and the rapid explosion. The version with minefield was factually confirmed.


S/S Burdigala, resting on the depth of 70 meters, became our training ground for the “saving process” of the ROV. The wreck is located in the vicinity of the crowded port therefore it is literally wrapped by fishing nets and mooring ropes, which create difficulty in ROV movements. There was no need to emulate the entanglement of the robot, it happened naturally and it was successfully rescued by the Triton 3300/3 submersible that has cut the ropes and freed the ROV in a training session for the future research of the objects located on a much greater depth.

This post is also available in: Russian