Dive Down to the Fetlar Shipwreck

New technology assists with underwater archaeology

By Adramar

Postcard, Cargo Fetlar laid dry (2017-11-14) by AdramarAdramar

Following the ship's construction in Glasgow in 1898, when it was named the Ape, the vessel was bought in 1918 by a Scottish company called Aberdeen, which renamed it the Fetlar. It is a steam freighter made of riveted steel, 184 feet (56 meters) long, and weighing 467 tons.

Rigging plan of the ss Fetlar (1898-01-01) by ADRAMARAdramar

Powered by steam but also equipped with sails, the Fetlar is a rare example of the period of transition from sails to steam.

Report of the sinking of the Fetlar by its captain (1919-04-13) by ADRAMARAdramar

On April 13, 1919, having set out from Southampton (England) with 280 tons of goods on board, the Fetlar was approaching Cézembre Island (France). Suddenly, it crashed into Bunel Rock, creating a large hole into which water poured, leading to its demise.

Fetlar underwater photography, photogrammetry, Brittany, Saint-Malo 3 (2017-10-30) by Jacques Le Lay & ADRAMARAdramar

Located at a depth of 85 feet (26 meters) off the coast of Saint-Malo, the Fetlar shipwreck has been waiting there for us ever since, stuck in the same spot for a century, upright on its keel, proud and imposing, and ready to tell us its story …

Fetlar wreck in Saint-Malo bay (2015-01-21) by Jacques Le LayAdramar

Dive to discover the wreck

Propeller of the steamship Fetlar (2008-09-27) by Teddy Seguin & ADRAMARAdramar

A popular destination for divers, this shipwreck is remarkably well preserved, as this propeller on the stern demonstrates.

Cargo of leather shoes on the wreck of the Fetlar (2008-09-27) by Teddy Seguin & ADRAMARAdramar

Leather shoes, part of the original cargo, are still strewn across the sea bed.

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3D modeling of a leather shoe discovered on the Fetlar wreck (2017-07-01) by ADRAMARAdramar

Photogrammetric recording of archaeological objects makes it possible to preserve a digital volume archive

Fetlar underwater photo, bell, Brittany, Saint-Malo (2008-06-17) by AdramarAdramar

The ship's bronze bell was discovered among the wreck. It bears the vessel's original name, the S. S. Ape.

Foundry crucible of the cargo ship Fetlar, Brittany, Saint-Malo (2008-06-17) by AdramarAdramar

Numerous graphite crucibles for use in foundries have been discovered too.

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3D model of a foundry crucible taken from the Fetlar wreck (2017-07-01) by ADRAMARAdramar

Explore the 3D model of the crucible to find the inscription of its manufacturer

Foundry crucible, cargo of the cargo Fetlar, Brittany, Saint-Malo 3 (2017-10-23) by AdramarAdramar

On this crucible we can see the inscription of the manufacturer, The Morgan Crucible Company, which was founded in 1856, and is still operational to this day.

Fetlar cargo hull (2010-05-14) by Stéphane Cavaillon & ADRAMARAdramar

The Fetlar cargo ship is a fragile wreck, being made of steel. It is destined to disappear one day, due to the process of corrosion.

Fetlar underwater photography, photogrammetry, Brittany, Saint-Malo 1 (2017-10-28) by Jacques Le Lay & ADRAMARAdramar

In 2017, ADRAMAR began work on a project to create a photogrammetric and digital 3D record of the wreck.

Fetlar underwater photography, photogrammetry, Brittany, Saint-Malo 5 (2017-10-31) by Michel Loussouarn & ADRAMARAdramar

For several weeks, an underwater photographer surveyed the wreck.

Fetlar underwater photography, photogrammetry, Brittany, Saint-Malo 4 (2017-10-31) by Michel Loussouarn & ADRAMARAdramar

More than 18,000 photos were taken of the wreck for 3D modeling.

Fetlar underwater photography, photogrammetry, Brittany, Saint-Malo 2 (2017-10-30) by Jacques Le Lay & ADRAMARAdramar

Every nook and cranny of the wreck was shot so they could achieve a very precise 3D model.

Modeling from the wire mesh of the Fetlar wreck (2018-06-01) by ADRAMARAdramar

Using specialized software, the photos were turned into a model of the wreck. Here, the framework of the 3D model is being produced.

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3D model of the Fetlar wreck (2017-07-01) by ADRAMARAdramar

Discover the 3D model of the wreck produced using photogrammetry. This is the scientific record of the vestige.

Work of Eesab engineers for the Fetlar Wreck application, Brittany, Rennes (2018-09-13) by AdramarAdramar

Based on scientific records and the 3D model, engineers at the EESAB school in Rennes designed a virtual dive application to allow members of the public to explore the wreck.

Modeling of the Fetlar wreck (2018-06-01) by ADRAMAR & ESAABAdramar

The 3D model of the Fetlar wreck was integrated into a specially recreated environment to produce the virtual dive app.

Augmented reality support card, Fetlar Wreck app, Brittany, Saint-Malo (2019-02-18) by AdramarAdramar

From archaeological excavation to 3D digitization, this virtual reality tour is a way to preserve this magnificent piece of heritage and recreate its story for us.

Dive on the wreck of the Fetlar in virtual and augmented reality (2019-05-05) by AdramarAdramar

So pull on your mask, dive in, and discover the Fetlar

Download the free Fetlar Shipwreck virtual dive app from the Google Play Store.

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