New imagery allows tour of WWII shipwrecks


A recent expedition to survey historic World War II shipwrecks has produced stunning imagery of sunken warships HMAS Sydney II and the German raider Kormoran off the coast of Western Australia.

Both ships were lost in the Nov. 19, 1941, battle that resulted in the complete loss of Sydney’s 645 crew. The incident is regarded as Australia’s greatest naval tragedy.

The recent expedition is a follow-up to a 2008 mission, which first photographed the previously undiscovered Sydney and Kormoran wrecks in 8,200 feet of water, 11 nautical miles apart and about 107 nautical miles west of Shark Bay, Western Australia. 

The current survey, which took place in April 2015, used Kongsberg Maritime’s OE14-530 3DHD video camera and six OE14-408E digital stills cameras on two ROVs operated by DOF Subsea to collect quality video and images of the historic wrecks.

As the lead underwater camera partner for this work, Kongsberg Maritime helped collect images and data during the survey that will form the basis of several exhibitions at the Western Australian Museum, which will feature digital 3-D reconstructions of the wreckage area that can be toured digitally. The 3-D reconstruction will be predominantly created using images from the OE14-408E digital stills cameras, which feature Ethernet operation that allowed immediate transfer of the images to the surface.

In addition to contributing to the museum’s exhibitions and online galleries, the new footage will also be seen in a television documentary.


German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran’s No. 2 15-cm gun forward, port side.


Light cruiser HMAS Sydney’s pierced starboard side armor and A turret.

Western Australian Museum


Western Australian Museum


By Ocean Navigator