Endurance Exploration Group is pleased to announce that Stage 1 of our summer 2015 survey and recovery mission to steamship Connaught has been successfully completed! Our ship is now back at dock to swap out gear and personnel for the next stage.
What have we done so far? It’s been a busy few weeks of mobilization and offshore work for Endurance. Our crew first re-established the exact location of the wreck site and associated debris field using data collected from our 2013 and 2014 expeditions. Next, we surveyed the site with 500 kHz high-resolution side scan sonar from multiple angles to map the shipwreck hull and debris field. Finally, we deployed a three-point anchor mooring system. This meant dropping three 2,000lb anchors, 2,000lbs of anchor chain and 4000ft of heavy-duty wire rope, a system that will keep us on station regardless of wind and tide.
So what’s next? As we’ve discussed in our Q&A, there are a number of operational stages to this salvage mission. We’re currently removing sonar and anchor deployment gear and replacing it with a sophisticated Remotely-Operated Vehicle (ROV) equipment. This changeover will allow us to begin subsea operations, starting with a full video and image survey of the site. Once complete, we’ll begin removing overburden and sediment while we work to locate the Connaught’s lost gold shipment and other valuables.
Stay tuned—more updates soon!