The Royal Australian Navy has shared a new image of HMAS AE1, its first submarine which was located this week off Papua New Guinea after a 103-year search.
The navy said the new image is providing researchers with “valuable new clues about the final moments of the boat and her 35 crew.”
Compiled by Dutch search company Fugro overnight, the shot clearly shows damage to AE1’s hull. However, it’s too early to say how the submarine sank, according to the navy.
The image was compiled with information gathered using a multi-beam echo-sounder which conducted a bathymetric survey using an autonomous underwater vehicle on board the survey vessel Fugro Equator.
Paul Kennedy, Fugro Director of Marine Geophysics, said the image really brings home the extent of the tragedy.
“This was truly one of Australia’s most baffling maritime mysteries,” he pointed out.
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 Island.
It was the 13th search for the submarine since it vanished on September 14, 1914.