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The wreckage of la Minerve is identified

on 21 July 2019 at 7:15 p.m.


Why 51 years to discover the wreck

Since 1968 research has always been concentrated in the blue-green part which corresponded to what were called the "Rocard" points (seeHERE).

Thanks to the CEA calculators, we took the 1968 recordings and we realized that  these points were badly positioned and that we had to look much further south. This work took 3 months. (seeHERE)


It was therefore well to the south of the area that the wreckage was finally located on July 21, 2019 at 7:15 p.m.


The presence of the letters MIN on the debris of the massif eliminated any doubt that might have arisen about the identity of the wreckage.


A quick find?

IFREMER's Antéa investigates 47 km2 in 9 days with its AsterX drone equipped with multibeam sounders (SMF).

Seabed constructor carried 3 AUV drones (with SMF, SSS, magnetometer, camera 60h autonomy at 4 knots) and 2 ROV with HD camera and LED projectors.

These drones, in addition to being 3 in number, were   equipped with Side Scan Sonar (SSS: side-scan sonar which made it possible to detect objects on the seabed, with a wide-range, high-grazing acoustic signal. This gives a shadow effect on objects protruding from the ground) - see image below.


Its vastly superior research capacity, it will cover 847 km2 in 3 dayss.

The film of the discovery of the wreck live on the Seabed Constructor


51 ans, 5 mois et 24 jours après sa diparition la Minerve est localisée aux coordonnées suivantes:

Latitude Est : 5,673832

Longitude Nord : 42,765942

Les débris sont dispersés sur un cône de 376 m


Position épave Minerve (1).jpg

What conclusions

According to those who have looked at the photos of the wreckage, the scattering and relatively small size of the debris in the center is evidence of theviolence of the implosion which a dû kill the whole crew in a fraction of a second.

The debris dispersion cone is "normal" in a viscous medium such as seawater. 

The general condition of the wreckage gave the impression that it had been destroyed by an explosion. In fact, it is indeed an implosion. You have to imagine that the hull of the submarine, rigid and designed to resist pressure, ended up giving way brutally to it, a bit like a nut that is crushed with force and which breaks into multiple shards.  

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