Seatronics’ remotely operated vehicle (ROV), the Predator, has successfully verified the identity of lost treasure liner, the S.S. Connaught, off the Northeast coast of the USA.
The Predator was deployed in a subsea mission organised and led by Endurance Exploration Group.
Seatronics’ Predator ROV was deployed by Endurance Group to verify the identity of the mid-19th century steamship, which carried a large cargo of gold coins, 100 miles from the shore. The S.S. Connaught, a 380-foot luxury liner carrying 592 people and 10,000 lbs of gold coins, suffered a fierce fire during a storm offshore Boston in 1860. The passengers and crew were rescued by a small fruit transport vessel, which sailed to intercept the burning, sinking ship. The S.S. Connaught became synonymous with courageous and successful maritime rescue efforts, as each passenger and crew member was safely returned to India Wharf, Boston, the next day.
In the summer of 2013, Endurance Group, an exploration company specialising in using modern day subsea technology to salvage documented, valuable cargoes from merchant ships, assembled an expedition team to locate and rescue the valuable gold cargo, and to piece together the vessel’s final moments.
The efforts to find the S.S. Connaught began with a 700-square mile sonar search, and concluded with the deployment of Seatronics’ Predator ROV, which completed a mission in the deepwater verification project. The Predator ROV was able to clearly identify the ship’s iron hull, paddlewheels and artefacts within the debris field.
Euan A Mackay, vice president, sales, Seatronics, said: “This particular mission for Predator was very complicated, given the depth and strong ocean currents in and around the project area. The Predator`s thruster control system was configured to maximise the maneuverability in such challenging conditions. This, coupled with the frame and platform design and dependable performance, made it the perfect choice for an inspection vehicle in this class and size.”
Great Eastern Group, Seatronics’ distributor was employed by Eclipse Group to provide the Predator ROV for the search, identification and inspection of the target shipwreck.