On March 17th, 2008 the discovery of the Royal Australian Navy Cruiser HMAS Sydney II and the German raider HSK Kormoran was announced. Both vessels sank following an intense battle in 1941. While most survived from the HSK Kormoran, the HMAS Sydney went down with all 645 hands and is the single greatest naval disaster in Austrailan history.
HMAS Sydney - 1940 Click for copyright information
A survey team lead by Art Wright of Williamson & Associates and operating with project lead David Mearns of Blue Water Recoveries found the HMAS Sydney resting upright in 8,100 fsw and the HSK Kormoran resting in several pieces in 8400 fsw. The team used the highly specialised SM-30 deep sea search sonar to find the shipwrecks. The SM-30 is capable of high resolution scans at a speed of 3 knots and swath of 6,000 meters (that is an incredible swath of more than 19600 feet). At this range and speed the SM-30 is capable of seeing a 55 gallon drum. To give a comparison the unit used by Puget Sound Divers needs an object as large as 10' long and 3-4' tall to been seen at a speed of 1 knot and a range of 600 feet.
This incredible discovery is just one more in a prestigious list of accomplishment for both Art Wright and Williamson & Associates. Excerpts from the search journal and the history of this effort can be found on the Finding Sydney Foundation webpage.
HKS Kormoran Click for Copyright information