The new virtual reality experience brings the wreckage of Japanese submarines of World War II to life. Thirty years later, the submarine was bombed with explosives by an angry salvager who wanted its scrap metal, after the Allies sank it in 1942. VR video is based on a recent survey of the site.
The shipwreck of the I-124 submarine, located about 50 nautical miles (90 km) northwest of Darwin, Australia, is protected as a war grave. When sunk by the Allies in 1942, about 80 crew members were on board. ..
The designation means that most divers are prohibited from visiting shipwrecks and such access is strictly controlled. So the new VR experience is a valuable opportunity for people to see what a shipwreck looks like at sea today. Archaeologist John McCarthy, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia, Said in a statement..
The new video version Available upon YouTube According to the statement, historical interest in shipwrecks is particularly strong in Australia and Japan, so in English and Japanese. Both recordings can be viewed on a VR headset or as “immersive video” on flat screen devices such as computer monitors and smartphones.
“Using our data, as well as historic ship plans and photos, a video guides the viewer through the data collection process, then takes you deep into the water and experiences a shipwreck first-hand virtual diving. I created an experience, “McCarthy said.
Battle at sea
I-124 was built for the Imperial Japanese Navy in the late 1920s. It was one of a new class of submarines based on the German Type UB III U boat, which was handed over to Japan as part of post-World War I compensation.
During World War II, I-124 was active off Darwin, laying mines and attacking enemy ships. However, the Allied codebreaker intercepted the radio signal and returned it to Japan, leading an Australian warship to track it on January 20, 1942, almost exactly 80 years ago.
A fierce battle continued with one of the submarine torpedoes, including the near miss of His Majesty’s Australian minesweeper (HMAS) Delorrain. However, I-124 was severely damaged by depth charges from warships and aerial bombs from Australian fighters. The submarine then sank to the bottom of the submarine with the entire crew on board.
But that’s not the only story.according to 1990 historical report At the Western Australian Maritime Museum, Salvager from New Hebrides (now Vanuatu) discovered the I-124 shipwreck in 1972 after a six-week search.
The Japanese government considered the shipwreck to be a war grave, but Salvager wants to sell everything recovered from the shipwreck for up to A $ 2.5 million (about $ 10 million today’s money). did.
According to the report, in 1977, after it became clear that Japan did not want to interfere with the shipwreck, one of the salvagers bombed with explosives in an attempt to force negotiations, causing enormous damage to the command tower.
Later that year, the I-124 shipwreck was secured by the Royal Australian Navy and its location was protected as a war grave under Australian law. This is the first shipwreck so designated.
Since then, marine archaeologists have been monitoring the shipwreck, and the new VR will be carried out on-site in October 2021 by a team that includes McCarthy, other scientists, and the crew of the Australian Marine Science Institute research vessel Solander. Based on a remote sonar survey. In the statement.
“Archaeological investigations show that the debris is in good condition, but there are some signs of deterioration of the outer hull that require further investigation,” McCarthy said.
Diving into a shipwreck is difficult at its best. According to VR, it is on the seabed in areas with poor visibility and strong tides. It’s about 150 feet (45 meters) deep, so divers using normal breathing gas can only stay there for a few minutes at a time.
as a result, Heritage branch Australia’s Northern Territory Local Government plans a technical dive to a wreck that uses advanced breathing gas to allow divers to stay there longer in order to carry out detailed visual and photographic investigations. VR narration reported that.
Originally published on Live Science.
Japanese submarines that sank in World War II and were later bombed by salvagers are VR-enabled.
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