New state-of-the-art sonar imagery of the RMS Lusitania have been released.
Members of the INFOMAR (INtegrated Mapping FOr the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s Marine Resource) team from the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) and the National Monuments Service of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht have recently produced and assessed the brand new sonar imagery of the wreck of the RMS Lusitania.
The current condition of the RMS Lusitania on the seafloor, 100-years after its sinking on May 7th 1915, is revealed in greater detail than ever before. The imagery provides a sense of the scale and history of the site, a tangible connection to the wreck and to the dramatic and tragic events that surrounded its sinking. The 240m long vessel is clearly defined on the sea floor, lying on its starboard side and standing over 14m high above the seabed.
Minister of State with responsibility for Natural Resources at the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Joe McHugh T.D. said that “The new imagery of the Lusitania provides the most detailed information and overview of the wreck site compiled to date and provides a solid framework upon which new research and analysis can be based”.
Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys, added “It is fitting that these images are being in the centenary year of the sinking of the Lusitania. The imagery will provide important information on how the shipwreck has changed over the last 100 years.”
The new survey data is extremely important from a site protection point of view. It will add to our knowledge and understanding of the wreck site on the seabed, its current condition and how the site has changed or degraded over the years. Additionally, the data, in tandem with previous information from individual divers to the site, will be very beneficial in developing our understanding of the physical processes at play at the wreck site and in the surrounding seabed and should help inform long term management strategies for protecting, investigating and conserving the wreck .
One hundred years on, the Lusitania is beginning to reveal its wounds, scars and perhaps its secrets, and may continue to do so for many years to come.