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Playing your part and doing it well

Reading time: Less than 2 mins

The USS Indianapolis, nicknamed “Indy”.

Finding a sunken ship from World War II in water depth of up to a mile, knowing that scores of others have failed in their quest previously, is a feat only a fearless few would seriously consider. When faced with such a challenge - high stakes and a difficult goal – success feels a whole lot more achievable when you have the best people, skills and equipment.

The ship in question is the USS Indianapolis, sunk by a Japanese torpedo on the 30 July 1945. On board were 1,196 sailors, of which only 316 survived. Those who didn't go down with the ship perished from shark attacks or from dehydration and exhaustion after having endured more than 4 days in the water. These tragic events understandably left a significant mark in the history books of WWII.

Undaunted by the need to search some 600 square miles of the North Pacific Ocean, finding the ship was the aim of Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist Paul Allen. On the 19th August 2017 - seventy two years after its sinking, Allen and his 13-strong team located the vessel resting 5500m beneath sea level. Its historical discovery finally brought closure to survivors and the families of those lost.

Operating at the edge of possibilities, Allen had assembled a team of experts together with the latest technology. The RV Petrel, the vessel used in the search and discovery, boasts an impressive array of equipment and amongst this list is the Tritech Super SeaKing 6800M sonar - a technically advanced, reliable and robust sonar utilised in ROV fleets globally.

Robert Kraft, director of subsea operations for Mr Allen is quoted: “The Petrel and its capabilities, the technology it has and the research we've done, are the culmination of years of dedication and hard work. We've assembled and integrated this technology, assets and unique capability into an operating platform which is now one among very few on the planet.”

Onboard the RV Petrel and the sonar display centre bottom. Image copyright and courtesy - Paul G Allen.

Tritech International is justifiably delighted to have its technology implemented into the world-class Vulcan ROV system and to be playing its part alongside the myriad of technically advanced equipment required to face the challenges of subsea exploration.

As Helen Keller famously said, 'Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much'.


USS Indianapolis image - By Unknown - U.S. Navy photo NH 53230, Public Domain,