A 3d model of KFK 532. Submerged Foundation

3d scan of KFK 532, German tugboat

The divers from our foundation, with the support of the Explorer Magazine the Dive Land diving base, performed a three-dimensional scan of the wreck of the German ship KFK (Kriegsfischkutter) UJ 301.

The ship ended its service in dramatic circumstances on April 8, 1945, when during one of the raids it was hit by Soviet aircraft in the port of Hel. The fire that broke out on board claimed the lives of two sailors. It also caused the KFK, armed with depth charges, to become a deadly threat to neighboring units. On the same day, the Kriegsmarine decided to tow the flaming ship out of the port area and sink it. The waves of the Baltic Sea swallowed the ship forever around 8:30 p.m. and the wreck rested at a depth of about 30 m.

However, the depth charges that were so feared and which indirectly caused its sinking remained on it. On February 15, 2008, a decision was made to close the wreck – diving on it was prohibited. Four days later, the Navy detonated the explosives. The explosion literally tore the hull apart – approximately 30% of the wreck was damaged. Today, diving on the UJ 301 wreck is possible without any permits, and the hole in the hull and the scattered remains of the stern make a striking, yet depressing, impression. They are reflected in a photogrammetric 3D model, created from over 6,000 photos.

And although the model may be impressive, as Marcin Stempniewicz, Chairman of the Board of the Submerged Foundation responsible for the model, notes: “Taking the scan is just the beginning. Displaying the model on a phone or computer screen is cool, but only virtual and augmented reality allows you to feel that the wreck is at your fingertips – this is crucial for us. We don’t want to show people pictures, we want them to feel what it’s like to be down there, next to the wreck.

The Submerged Foundation and the historians collaborating with it from the Explorer Magazine and the Dive Land diving base have not said their last word yet and announce that the coming months will be full of both the digitization of known wrecks and research projects under the patronage of the Maritime Museum.

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