QUINCY, Mass. (March 12, 2015)—Bluefin Robotics underwater autonomous vehicles scour the ocean floors around the world looking for items critical to the defense industry, oceanographic researchers, and the oil and gas industry.
Most recently, a Bluefin vehicle was used by Paul G. Allen and his team of researchers in their search for the sunken Japanese battleship Musashi, the largest battleship in naval history. Mr. Allen and his crew used various methods to narrow down the elusive location of the wreck, and when they were close—sent the Bluefin 12 down to do its job. After only three dives, the underwater robot located the shipwreck in the Sibuyan Sea.
“We’re proud that our vehicle was able to assist so effectively in this important search for an historic naval vessel,” said Bluefin Robotics interim CEO Rich Leonard, “and we look forward to supporting Mr. Allen’s passion in future searches for undersea artifacts.”
Commissioned in 1942, the Musashi weighed in at 73,000 tons fully loaded. It featured eighteen-inch armor plating and was armed with nine eighteen-inch guns, the largest ever mounted on a warship. Utmost secrecy was maintained by the shipyard in Nagasaki during the construction; the entire length of the ship was hidden from view to prevent the Allied Forces from learning of her construction. Active in several battles, including the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Musashi was eventually sunk by an estimated 19 torpedoes and 17 bombs on October 24, 1944 in the lead up to the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Of Musashi’s 2,399 crew members, nearly half lost their lives including the Commander Vice Admiral Toshihira Inoguchi. Even today, the Musashi and her sister ship, the Yamato, are considered to be unparalleled feats of naval design and construction.
Mr. Allen and his research team are mindful of the responsibility related to the wreckage of the Musashi as a war grave and intend to work with the Japanese and Philippine governments to ensure the site is treated respectfully and in accordance with applicable traditions.
M/Y Octopus is regularly used for exploration projects, scientific research initiatives and rescue missions. In 2012, Mr. Allen and the Octopus underwater teams participated in the exploration of the wreck of the HMS Hood, in conjunction with the British Navy.
Paul G. Allen, and his research team will broadcast a live-stream tour of the wreckage of the Japanese battleship Musashi, one of the most renowned and technologically advanced battleships in history. The event will begin at 9 p.m. EDT on March 12, 2015, and at 9 a.m. PHT/10 a.m. JPT on Friday, March 13, 2015.
How to access the live stream: Go to http://musashi.paulallen.com or on YouTube: http://youtu.be/qNMmqagTt90
Social: Track the conversation via the #MusashiLive hashtag and @VulcanInc
Date: March 12/13, 2015 (Time zone dependent)
NOTE: As this is a live event, weather is a factor. In the event of weather delays, updates will be provided on PaulAllen.com.
Time: Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours in length beginning at 9 p.m. EDT on March 12, 2015, and at 9 a.m. PHT/10 a.m. JPT on Friday, March 13, 2015.
Permissions: All news media have permission to broadcast the live stream and translate the commentary into their preferred language. The broadcast will be presented in English.
ABOUT BLUEFIN ROBOTICS
Bluefin Robotics, designs, manufactures and operates Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) systems and related technology including battery power systems. Founded in 1997, the company has grown to become a world leader in AUV products designed for defense, commercial and scientific applications. Bluefin Robotics is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Battelle--a leader in maritime technologies; enabling rapid development and deployment of solutions for government and industry.