Vessels & Vehicles




Project DRAGON          -          ROV video analysis provides outstanding pictures          -          high-tech precision work at a depth of 320 ft

Since 1995  the private research team “Search & Recovery” is concerned with the


search, location and recovery of sunken objects


to a maximum depth of 650 feet. We have developed a comprehensive concept during this period for dealing in full with all the complex issues in the SEARCH, LOCATION and RECOVERY of sunken objects. What is more we have implemented our concept with dramatic success in practice. This complete solution, with the equipment we have developed and the know-how we have acquired is technically mature and has been tried and tested proving its great value in the many projects we have carried out with complete success.


We are not to be regarded as a commercial operation, however, nor is our interest in using these pages to acquire valuable new contracts. This entire exciting field itself is what fills us with enthusiasm. Our prime motivation is the challenge of the future projects themselves that we may be called on to handle.


The core element in our equipment is an underwater towed video system we developed ourselves; it is fitted with a camera unit, 4 searchlights, a drive system and a 2-axis gripper mechanism. This camera robot is attached to a special cable and is towed along the bottom of the lake by a workboat. This visual search method is suitable only for relatively small search areas because of the low visibility. Our experience in searching very large areas with side-scan sonar technology has been excellent. The workboat is GPS navigated and in the course of this a freely defined search area is traversed using modular grid software as a reference. When the sought object appears on the monitor the coordinates and the current depth of the find location are recorded and saved using GPS and PC software. It is at this point that the search process itself is concluded and the towed video system is now fitted with our gripper module. The search object is then approached for a second time around this approach using the saved GPS coordinates. The gripper clutches the sunken object on a suitable hold point. When a direct recovery is not now possible due to the weight of the object, the towing cable is fully tightened and a second guideline cable is anchored directly adjacent to the found object. The camera robot can now use this guideline cable to dive straight down to the sunken object whenever required and with no need for divers, by attaching a strong cable using a specially developed snap-action mechanism. Should it not be possible to attach this cable by remote control then divers can be used to deal with this task. They can of course, readily reach the object simply by following the guideline cable down.


We hope you enjoy your journey of exploration in our homepage as you read about our achievements and we very much look forward to hearing your feedback. Contact us by e-mail:, we also look forward to engaging in a specialist discussion of one kind or another. A joint project of the kind we are interested in could well develop from beginnings such as these.


Note on copyright

Insofar as not otherwise stated on the relevant page the copyright for the entire contents, including texts, photos, databases, videos etc. is that of “Search & Recovery” and of those persons who have been concerned with the production of the homepage on our behalf. The publication of these contents at any other location is subject to our express written permission in each case.


Project P47

The search and recovery of an American Second World War fighter bomber type P47 was a project of „Sandy Air“ and „Trojan Aircraft“ as the final investor. Our team had an important role in this project. For copyright reasons we are regrettably not able to provide any details of this project, a circumstance which we have to accept. You can find a brief summary and description of our activities, however, in "Project P47-Summary", but without the inclusion of film, video or other details.


Sidescan Sonar techno-logy for projects with large search areas.


The towed video system laid out on the quay after a successful mission.


Sonar search: The high resolution search grid is being scanned, track by track.


Development and test work on the underwater towed video system and the gripper.


A snap-close mechanism we developed entirely by ourselves for the full remote controlled attach-ment of recovery cables.


It took nearly 2.5 years, but finally the SALINA resurfaced from the deep – rising up from a depth of 525 feet!


n order to achieve a seam-less filming of an underwater pipeline we used a ROV owned by a colleague.


Only 11 days after starting the first search the MANTA returned from a depth of 213 feet.


2010: Serious accident after the successful recovery from  320 feet. The object, a DRAGON, sinks again.


Sophisticated own de-   velopment navigation and documentation system for effective search missions.


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Project SALINA                        Project PEER                              Project MANTA                     Project P47                               Project DRAGON