A joint US and Australian expedition to survey Australia’s first submarine HMAS AE1 has provided detailed new images of the 103-year old shipwreck, which lies on the seafloor off the Duke of York Islands in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
The Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS AE1 was lost at sea with all hands on 14 September 1914, and its fate had remained a mystery until its discovery in December 2017. It was the first loss for the RAN and the first Allied submarine loss in World War I but ultimately a tragedy felt by all Australians.
The recent survey was undertaken by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s research vessel Petrel and coordinated by Find AE1 Ltd in partnership with the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Royal Australian Navy, Curtin University, the Western Australian Museum and the Submarine Institute of Australia. Approval for the survey was granted by Papua New Guinea National Museum and Art Gallery. The ship’s remotely-operated vehicle (ROV), fitted with high-definition video and stills cameras, undertook a comprehensive, non-invasive inspection of the submarine, revealing fascinating new information.