June 2023 OES Beacon

Member Highlights (June 2023)

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Finding the Lost Submarine “Albacore”

Fig.1. Multi-Beam Sonar Image of the wreck

Tamaki Ura, IEEE Fellow and Life member

On May 25, 2022, a team from the Society La Plongée Deep Sea Engineering led by Tamaki Ura, using multibeam sonar, found the wreck of the U.S. submarine Albacore (SS-218), which sank on November 7th, 1944, off the coast of Esan, Hakodate, Hokkaido, Japan. The fore part of the Albacore was lost. Subsequently, the team dove the ROV twice to confirm the current condition of the Albacore, focusing on the bridge section. In addition to poor visibility, fishing nets and ropes prevented free movement of the ROV, so that it was very difficult to obtain clear images.  When we used a small ROV to dive on the submarine, it became trapped in the hand rail of the bridge and we had considerable difficulty trying to escape. The video footage was sent to NHHC (Naval History and Heritage Command); who analyzed the images in detail and identified it as SS-218 in February 2023.
The survey activities were broadcast live via the Internet and can be viewed by anyone in the world.

Fig. 2. Side View of the aft part of conning tower from port


  1. https://www.oneternalpatrol.com/uss-albacore-218.htm
  2. 25-26 May 2022 https://live.nicovideo.jp/watch/lv326919568
  3. 2 Oct. 2022 https://live.nicovideo.jp/watch/lv336612796