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Bikini Atoll

BikiNI ATOLL

Located somewhere near the X in the image to the right; Bikini Atoll is 53 hours of travel from Perth. That’s hours actually spent in planes and on boats. A trip there for us required 4 sectors on planes, being escorted through a military base in the back of a K9 unit van, a ferry, and a 30 hour steam on a boat that at points we thought might not make it home. All up we crossed the date line 4 times and drank yet another location out of Gin and Tonic.

This trip was 3 years in the planning (which was before WreckSploration was formed) but as we had booked a full boat it turned out we were all there.

Nuclear Testing (ref: wikipedia)

Nuclear testing at Bikini Atoll consisted of the detonation of 24 nuclear weapons by the United States between 1946 and 1958 on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Tests occurred at 7 test sites on the reef itself, on the sea, in the air, and underwater. The test weapons produced a combined fission yield of 42.2 Mt of TNT in explosive power.

Operation Crossroads consisted of two detonations, each with a yield of 23 kt of TNT (96 TJ). Able was detonated over Bikini on July 1, 1946 and exploded at an altitude of 160 m) but was dropped by aircraft about 460m to 610m off target. It sank only five of the ships in the lagoon. Baker was detonated underwater at a depth of 27 m on July 25, sinking eight ships. The second underwater blast created a large condensation cloud and contaminated the ships with more radioactive water than was expected. Many of the surviving ships were too contaminated to be used again for testing and were sunk. The air-borne nuclear detonation raised the surface seawater temperature by 55,000 °C, created blast waves with speeds of up to 7.9 m/s, and shock and surface waves up to 30m high. Blast columns reached the floor of the lagoon, which is approximately 70m deep

WreckSploration diving at Bikini Atoll

In the 7 days of Diving at Bikini Atoll the team dived the following wrecks:

  • Prinz Eugen Eugen (German heavy cruiser in Kwajalein Atoll)
  • Saratoga (Aircraft Carrier)
  • Apogon (Submarine)
  • Lamson (Destroyer)
  • Nagato (Japanese Navy Flagship)
  • Arkansas (Battleship)
  • Anderson (Destroyer)

Photogrammetry at Bikini Atoll

Unlike our normal work we did not have the advantage of underwater scooters and powerful lights for these models. This was all taken by hand with GoPro’s and minimal lighting. Models have received less post processing than our regular work also.

Submarine Apogon

USS Apogon (SS-308), a Balao-class submarine, was a ship of the United States Navy named for the apogons, a genus of cardinal fishes found in tropical and subtropical waters.

Access the 3D Model here on SketchFab

See an animation of the model here on YouTube

(photo’s for this model by Dave Berry, Gareth Glasgow, Alex Aberle-Leeming)

Dive Helmets

A single dive helmet on the Saratoga

Access the 3D Model here on SketchFab

See an animation of the model here on YouTube

(photos for this model taken by Martin Bovingdon)

Two dive helmets in another area of the Saratoga

Access the 3D Model here on SketchFab

(photos for this model taken by Dave Berry)

5″ Guns on the Saratoga

Mounted forward of the bridge the twin 5″ guns look are still poised to defend.

Access the 3D Model here on SketchFab

See an animation of the model here on YouTube

(photos for this model taken by Andy Oakeley)

Planes in the sand

Lying in the sand off the starboard bow of the Saratoga are two planes. A Curtis SB2C Helldiver and a Grumman TBF Avenger.

Access the 3D Model here on SketchFab

(photos for this model taken by Andy Oakeley and Nic Joubert)

Torpedo

Near the wreck of the Anderson lies a torpedo. Hear you can see Andy lying next to it for scale.

Access the 3D Model here on SketchFab

(photos for this model taken by Nic Joubert)

Bombs

Many of the wrecks are still filled with ordinance. Here you can see some bombs in the hold of the Saratoga

Access the 3D Model here on SketchFab

(photos for this model taken by Dave Berry)