U-Boat Malta team paid a first-ever visit to a legendary submarine HMS Olympus

U-Boat Malta explorers and maritime archaeologist Dr. Timothy Gambin plunged to the depth of around 120 meters in a submersible C Explorer 5.8 to investigate the sunken British submarine HMS Olympus. It was a first-ever visit paid to a legendary wreck of HMS Olympus, tragically lost outside of the Valletta Grand Harbour in 1942.

“HMS Olympus was one of the last remaining undiscovered warships from World War II and it provides further material evidence of the conflict that raged off the Maltese coast. The visit to wreck in the submarine enabled us to gather vital information on the damage suffered by the Olympus, which will in turn enable us to better understand the circumstances that led to her loss”, – Dr. Gambin of University of Malta comments on the event. He led a team of researchers back in 2011, when 283-feet wreck was discovered using side scan sonar. In order to confirm the identity of the found sub, later on explorers came back to the site with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to capture images.

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Configuration of the bow torpedo tubes, cunning tower shape and other evidence allowed the positive of HMS Olympus. However, there was still much more to discover. Among other things, on the basis of a systematic visual examination experts intended to confirm or deny the version that the submarine was lost due to striking a mine.

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U-Boat Malta’s mission has become the next important step in HMS Olympus underwater investigation, letting researchers observe the object, make notes and verify theoretical evidence with factual data. Explorers also filmed a high quality video for more detailed desk-based studies. During all submarine operations the survey methods were non-intrusive. The members of the exploration team ensured that through such a methodology («look don’t touch» principle) the site is treated with utmost respect as per local laws and international conventions.

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The core group of the project continues with its research and is currently planning further dives on the Olympus.

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This post is also available in: Russian

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