Monday 19 August 2019

50 years after it vanished beneath the waves, France finds the wreckage of its missing 'Minerve' submarine

Marine Pennetier and Sophie Louet

The AsterX submarine drone returns on board the Antea research vessel during the second phase of the search for the wreckage of the Minerve submarine. Picture: Sebastien Chenal/Marine Nationale/Handout via REUTERS
The AsterX submarine drone returns on board the Antea research vessel during the second phase of the search for the wreckage of the Minerve submarine. Picture: Sebastien Chenal/Marine Nationale/Handout via REUTERS
U.S. company "Ocean Infinity", which specialises in underwater research, conduct further checks onboard the Norwegian ship "Seabed Constructor" during the second phase of the search for the wreckage of the Minerve submarine. Picture: Sebastien Chenal/Marine Nationale/Handout via REUTERS
Launching of the AsterX submarine drone from the Antea research vessel during the second phase of the search for the wreckage of the Minerve submarine. Picture: Sebastien Chenal/Marine Nationale/Handout via REUTERS
The AsterX submarine drone returns on board the Antea research vessel during the second phase of the search for the wreckage of the Minerve submarine. Picture: Sebastien Chenal/Marine Nationale/Handout via REUTERS
Launching of the AsterX submarine drone from the Antea research vessel during the second phase of the search for the wreckage of the Minerve submarine. Picture: Sebastien Chenal/Marine Nationale/Handout via REUTERS
The AsterX submarine drone returns on board the Antea research vessel during the second phase of the search for the wreckage of the Minerve submarine. Picture: Sebastien Chenal/Marine Nationale/Handout via REUTERS
Staff of the Hydrographic & Oceanographic Service of the Navy (SHOM) analyse the data sent in by the AsterX submarine drone. Picture: Sebastien Chenal/Marine Nationale/Handout via REUTERS
Staff of the Hydrographic & Oceanographic Service of the Navy (SHOM) analyse the data sent in by the AsterX submarine drone aboard the Antea research vessel during the second phase of the search for the wreckage of the Minerve submarine. Picture: Sebastien Chenal/Marine Nationale/Handout via REUTERS
Staff of the Hydrographic & Oceanographic Service of the Navy (SHOM) analyse the data sent in by the AsterX submarine drone aboard the Antea research vessel during the second phase of the search for the wreckage of the Minerve submarine. Picture: Sebastien Chenal/Marine Nationale/Handout via REUTERS

The French Navy has found the wreckage of its 'Minerve' submarine, which disappeared off the coast of Toulon in the Mediterranean Sea in 1968, leading to the loss of 52 lives.The government decided in 2018 to renew efforts to find the Minerve, following requests from the bereaved families, and found it thanks to the use of new sonar and drone technology. The reason the submarine sank remains unknown.

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