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February 5, 2019 - 51 years after the first research was stopped,

the Ministry of the Armed Forces announces the resumption of research





Paris, Tuesday, February 5, 2019


Resumption of the search for the wreck of the Minerve

Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, has decided to resume the search for the wreck of the submarine Minerve, which tragically disappeared off the coast of Toulon on January 27, 1968. Today it is a question of taking advantage the commissioning of high-tech equipment including underwater drones to resume research that had been unsuccessful after this accident. 

The research will be entrusted to the French Navy, with the assistance of Ifremer (French research institute for the exploitation of the sea) and Shom (Hydrographic and Oceanographic service of the Navy). The operation will be led locally by the Admiral Commander-in-Chief for the Mediterranean.

This research campaign will begin with technical tests lasting a few days in February, in the area of possible presence of la Minerve, determined by the analysis of seismic recordings of the implosion of the submarine during his disappearance. It will continue during the month of July to benefit from favorable weather conditions for this period and will take place in several phases, successively consisting of detecting, analyzing and then identifying the objects present on the seabed. The means implemented include buildings carrying multibeam sounders, underwater drones and a mini-submarine capable of photographing at great depths.

Aware of the suffering of the families, which time cannot erase, the Minister renews her compassion for the families of the 52 sailors who disappeared in the performance of their duty and salutes their memory. She would like to point out that, despite technological progress, research at depths of more than 2,000 meters remains complex and without certainty of success. The Minister assures the families to associate them closely with all the stages of this research campaign.

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