We conducted our dive as part of a research project to investigate wrecks from the bottom of the Gulf of Gdansk (Baltic Sea). There are approximately more than 100 wrecks from different historical periods in the Gulf of Gdansk. This time our search focused on finding and examining wrecks of German Kriegfischkutter-type warships. These were light multi-purpose auxiliary ships used for anti-submarine escort and special missions.
Four vessels of this type have sunk in the Gulf. We know of two. It is interesting to note that the one we are investigating is most likely KFK No. 307, sunk by Soviet aviation on 8 May 1945. It is probably the last German warship to be sunk during the war. She left in cover of the last convoy from the war port of Hel and was heading for central Germany.
One element of our study was the creation of a photogrammetric model of the wreck.
We work in the magazine “Odkrywca”, which means explorer or discoverer. Our research is carried out in cooperation with the divers’ foundation Dive Land and Foundation Submerged in consultation with the National Maritime Museum in Gdansk
We initially acquired the Chasing drone with underground surveys (mines and flooded adits) mainly in mind. After some thought and consideration of offshore exploration, we decided on the Chasing m2 pro, mainly because of its ability to go deep underwater, its maneuverability and the power of its engines - the possibility of sea currents. It is a great help for us to track and record the depth of the vehicle in real time
We often conduct surveys in flooded underground, where the drone’s manoeuvrability and lighting excel. However, in the sea we often have to deal with suspended matter that reflects light. We had to install our own lighting. Fortunately, the drone’s design is excellent for mounting all sorts of additional equipment.
In the case of marine research, our plan is to use the drone as an independent unit that can perform the photogrammetry process. This will certainly involve changing the lighting system.
In our research, we first clarified the location of the wreck using sonar, then marked it, and then the drone made an initial observation. Based on this, we prepared a diving plan, the aim of which was to document the wreck and identify it.
During our research, the drone supported our team of divers by illuminating more interesting elements of the wreck. In one case, it was used to observe part of a buried room below deck where the diver was unable to fit.
Our research helps solve the mysteries of history. In this case, during the drone dive, we also found hazardous materials from the period of World War II, which was reported to the relevant maritime services.