03 October 2008

Wreck of Asgard II found and inspected

Many people in Ireland and abroad will know by now that the beautiful green brigantine Asgard II (archive picture left), our national sail training vessel, sank in the Bay of Biscay off the coast of France on September 11th at about 7.00 am.

Fortunately no life was lost and no-one was injured. All 25 crew on board made it safely into their life rafts and were rescued by the French Coast Guard soon after.

Meanwhile a survey of the wreck of Asgard II has been carried out, in order to establish her present condition.

The vessel was located on the seabed, in some eighty metres of water, close to where she sank.

An initial underwater inspection has been carried out, using a ROV (remotely operated vehicle - a kind of small un-manned submarine). This inspection indicated that she is upright and largely intact (which gives some hope that she could probably be raised and repaired).

Damage to one of the hull planks has been observed, but at this stage it is impossible to say whether this is a result of the impact on the seabed, or if it was the original cause of the sinking. (for details see my entry from September 11th)

Until further investigations are carried out, it is not possible to determine whether Asgard II can be salvaged and put back into service. As soon as I have more news, I will share them with you here.
So, if you are interested in the fate of Ireland, Asgard II and sailing in general, keep reading this weblog.

The Emerald Islander

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