PROJECTS

Rovarch has worked on scores of shipwreck projects and has more experience observing, investigating and excavating shipwreck sites through Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) than any other archaeologist in the world. Listed below are some of the high profile projects that I have played a key part in.
  • SS Empress of Britain, Canadian Pacific Steamship Co. British steel ocean liner. Aerial attack by a German Focke-Wulf Fw 200C Condor long-range bomber on the 26th October 1940 and then sunk by the German submarine U-32 0n the 28th October 1940. Depth 162m. 70 miles northwest of Aran Island, Co. Donegal, Eire.

 

  • RMS Amazon, Royal Mail Steam Packet Co. Ltd. (Royal Mail Lines) British steel ocean liner. Sunk by the German submarine U-110 on 15th March 1918. Depth 117m, 70 miles north of Bloody Foreland, Co. Donegal, Eire.

 

  • SS Athenia, Donaldson Line owned British steel ocean liner. On the 2nd September 1939 the German submarine U-32 torpedoed the Athenia, surfaced and shelled her at close range. At 10;40 on the morning of the 3rd September 1939 she sank 252 miles NW off Malin Head, Eire, depth 195m. She was the first British ship sunk in WWII.  Sunk 8 hours after Britain and France declared war on Germany.

 

  • SS Hesperian, Allan Line SS. Co. Ltd. (Allan Bros. & Co. U.K., Ltd.), British steel ocean liner. Attacked by the German submarine U-20 on the 4th September 1915, and foundered 2 days later under tow in a depth 115m, 85 miles SW from Fastnet, Eire.  

 

  • RMS Laconia, Cunard Steamship Co. Ltd, British steel ocean liner. Sunk by the German submarine U-50 on the 25th February 1917. Depth 375m, 150 miles NW of Fastnet, Eire.

 

  • SS Central America, United States Mail Steamship Company, wooden hulled side-wheel paddle steamer. Lost in a hurricane on the 12th September 1857 off the coast of South Carolina. Known as The Ship of Gold due to the high value gold cargo and personal gold belonging to California gold rush miners.

 

  • Search for the Bonhomme Richard, Continental Navy wooden warship under the command of Scottish born US naval commander, John Paul Jones. Known as the father ff the American Navy. On the 25th September 1779 in a battle with the 5th Rate warship HMS Serapis off Flamborough Head, NE England in 50-100m water.

 

  • SS Mantola, British-India Steam Navigation Company, steel steam cargo passenger ship. Attacked by German submarine SM U-81. Torpedoed and surface shelled, she sank on the 8th February 1917, in rough sea when the rescue ship tow line parted 100 miles SW west of the SW corner of Eire in 2,500m of water.

 

  • SS Gairsoppa, British-India Steam Navigation Company, steel steam cargo ship. Sunk by German submarine U-101 on the 16th February 1941 in 4,700m of water, 300 miles SW of Galway Bay, Eire. This was the world’s second deepest silver cargo salvage.

 

  • HMS Victory, British Royal Navy 1st Rate 110-gun wooden British warship. Foundered in a storm on the 5th October 1744 approximately 100km west of the Casquets, Channel Islands in 90m of water. Conducted non-disturbance survey, photomosaic, survey, marine biology survey, environmental and geo-sampling. This wreck is one of the UK’s longest running archaeological controversies.

 

  • Survey of WWI German submarine U-103 and 8 WWII German submarines, U-325, U-326, U-327, U-400, U-650, U-988, U-1021 and U-1208 in the English Channel and Western Approaches.

 

  • RMS Lusitania, Cunard Line, British ocean steel liner. Sunk by German submarine U-20 on the 7th May 1915 off Kinsale head, southern Eire in 88m of water. The sinking presaged the United States declaration of war on Germany two years later.

 

  • La Marquise de Tourny, a 1744 built Bordeaux-based French privateer. Lost in a storm in 1740s or early 1750s in a depth of 80m and 100km SE of Plymouth, England.

 

  • Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes. Spanish 18th century wooden naval frigate. Sunk in the Alboran sea, off southern Portugal on the 5th October 1804from a single shot from British Royal Navy frigate HMS Amphion. The project was known as the Black Swan. A very high-profile legal case that saw Spain awarded the 594,788 silver and 212 gold coins.

 

  • Shipwreck expedition within the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, off the west coast of Washington State, by Deep Sea Ventures, LLC, of Washington State. Investigation various wrecks within 500-1,000 feet using a one manned DeepWorker 2000 and the three manned Aquarius submersible provided by Nuytco Research Ltd.

 

  • Atlas Project. English Channel and Western Approaches. Search and investigation of various known and unknown shipwrecks form 17th century to present day from the Odyssey Marine Exploration research vessel M/V Odyssey Explorer.

  • SS Ancona, Belfast built Italian passenger steamer owned by the Societa di Navigazione a Vaporetti Italia of Genoa. The vessel was designed and served as an emigrant ship on the routes between Italy and the United States. Torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine SM U-30 on the 8th November 1915, off the coast of Tunisia in a depth of 510m.

 

  • Enigma Project. Eastern Mediterranean. Search and investigation of various known and unknown shipwrecks from ancient times to present day from the Odyssey Marine Exploration research vessel M/V Odyssey Explorer.

 

  • Alboran Project. Western Mediterranean. Search and investigation of various known and unknown shipwrecks from Phoenician times (1500 BC) to present day from the Odyssey Marine Exploration research vessel M/V Odyssey Explorer.

 

  • HMS Sussex, British Royal Navy 17th century 80-gun warship lost off Gibraltar, West Mediterranean in a storm in 1694.

 

  • SS Republic, American side-wheel paddle steamer. Lost in a hurricane 100 miles SE of Savannah, Georgia, USA on the 25th October 1865 in 500m of water.

 

  • MV Struma, chartered by the New Zionist Organisation and the Betar Zionist youth movement from Jean Pandelis to take Jewish refugees from Romania to Palestine.On the 23rd February 1942 Turkish authorities boarded the Struma in Instanbul, her engines were not working, and she was towed out into the Black Sea and cast her adrift about 10 miles off Istanbul. On the morning of the 24th February 1942 the Soviet submarine Shch-213 torpedoed the Struma which sank quickly with the loss of 791 lives.

 

  • The Swan, a 200 ton, 12-gun wooden warship of the English Navy launched in 1641. The warship was a part of Oliver Cromwell's fleet of six vessels which attacked a Royalist stronghold at Duart Castle in the sound of Mull, west coast of Scotland, during the English Civil War. She sank in storm on the 13th September 1653 just off Duart castle.

© Odyssey Marine Exploration

© Rovarch

© Rovarch

© Odyssey Marine Exploration

© Rovarch

© Rovarch

© Colin Martin