CANBERRA, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) — Researchers have conducted the deepest archaeological survey in Australian history to map a sunken Japanese World War II submarine.
After three years of work, a team from Australia’s Northern Territory (NT) government has created a 3D model of the Japanese I-124 submarine by using specialized cameras mounted to underwater scooters.
The I-124 with 80 crew members on board sank off the coast of Darwin, the capital of the NT, in January 1942 after being struck by depth charges deployed by the Royal Australian Navy.
Only weeks after the submarine was sunk, 236 people were killed during the Bombing of Darwin, according to The Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Due to strong tides, murky waters and the submarine’s depth of 50 meters, no survey of the site had ever been attempted until a team led by David Steinberg, the NT government senior heritage officer and maritime archaeologist, explored it.
Steinberg described the expedition as a major breakthrough.
“The level of accuracy and detail that’s been captured is just remarkable with these new technologies and new advances in maritime shipwreck mapping,” he told News Corp Australia recently.
“It’s got us so much new information, it’s basically a game-changer in how we understand our shipwreck resource.”
The 3D model will be used to determine how quickly the site is deteriorating and what can be done to preserve it.
Findings have been shared with the Japanese authorities and a container of sand from the seabed was to be shared with the families of the crew.