Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Diving’ Category

Let the Search Begin!

Longshot Poster 2For the last two years we have been diligently working to make the Longshot expedition a reality. Finally, with assistance from the Prime Minister and support from the office of the Defence Minister, we have sourced the equipment we need.

The Department of Defence has kindly allowed us to use some Royal Navy magnetometer equipment for the duration of the search.

We will spend  the next few months preparing the equipment and building a specific housing unit. We still have some paperwork to complete, and some cables and computer software to purchase,  but we are delighted to announce that the search will begin in early summer. Project Longshot has gathered a lot of momentum since we first spoke to Ted Baillieau in November 2013.

We have attracted tremendous support from all sections of the community and now we hope to continue the story.


Longshot at the Melbourne Boat show

This video montage will form part of the Aqua-Power Marine display at this year’s Melbourne Boat Show.

Longshot will feature at the Melbourne Boat show, as part of the Aqua-Power Marine stand, between June 16-20 at the Exhibition Centre.

Aqua Power Marine of Seaford has kindly donated a Whittley SL22 V6 6.5 metre boat to Project Longshot as our main search vessel.

This little beauty is one of the most fuel-efficent and fast crafts in its category.

It is the perfect vessel to tow the search equipment we will be using to grid the five- kilometre search area where we believe the shell lies.

If you are attending the Boat show, make sure to drop by and have a chat.

The videos run in the following order:

Southern Ocean Exploration 2014 promo
0.00 – 2.37

Whittley SL22 video
2.37 – 5.31

The First Shot Presentation by Mark Ryan
5.31 – 23.24

Fundraising pitch
23.24 – 27.36


For those people who are keen to find out more about the technical specifications of the magnetometer we require, these videos explain the powerful capabilities of this machine:

Longshot on Radio this Saturday

You can hear The Project Longshot team live on air this Saturday.

3WBC radio – 94.1 FM has given SOE an hour between 11.00am and 12.00pm to discuss the project.

Mark Ryan from SOE will be talking about SOE’s achievements.

Martin Tozer will be explaining the technical aspects of the search for the first shot.

Terry Cantwell from Whitewater Documentaries will be talking about the potential Longshot documentary and the series “Ghost Divers”, which is in production.

Hope you have time to listen in.


Live Streaming between 11.00-12.00 Saturday March 29, 2014



Project Long Shot

2014 marks the centenary of World War 1 and we are planning a series of missions to find the first shot fired  in the Great War. The shell, if it is still intact, lies inside the opening to Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne.

Few people are aware that the first shot of the Great War was fired from Point Nepean, south of Melbourne.

On August 5th 1914,  Australian forces attempted to stop the German cargo ship, the SS Pfalz, from leaving Melbourne.

War had just been declared and all German activity in the Commonwealth was now considered hostile. Despite numerous warnings to cut her engines, Pfalz Captain Kuhiken ordered full steam ahead and a dangerous game of chicken ensued.

From Point Nepean Coastal Fort, the Australians continued to signal to the Pfalz to stop.

When they received an order to either ‘stop her of sink her’ they fired the first shot of the Great War across the Pfalz’ bow, missing the ship by metres.

The Pfalz  eventually  surrendered to Australian forces who boarded her at 1.00pm.

The German crew was interned in Melbourne for the duration of the war.

The ship itself was soon refitted as a troop carrier for the war effort and was used in the Gallipoli landings under the name HMT Boorara. She had a busy time in the Dardanelles: transporting Australian soldiers onto the battle arena, being twice torpedoed, and housing Turkish prisoners of war.

She was eventually shipwrecked off the Vancouver coast in 1926 when she was operating as a Greek trade vessel.

Long Shot will be a difficult mission given the ferocity of the tides in this area and a century of constant dredging, not to mention that locating a six-inch shell in Port Phillip Bay will be a needle-in- a- haystack job.

However, we have sourced some sonar equipment; a magnetometer that the US Navy is using in Pearl Harbour to locate unexploded ordinance from the Japanese attack in 1942. This equipment is capable of finding a .22 shell under six feet of sand.

If the shell is there we will find it.

Southern Ocean Exploration, Australia’s most successful shipwreck discovery team, will volunteer all of its resources to find the shell: divers, boats, fuel and insurances – but we need this equipment if we are to have any chance of finding the shell.

Whitewater Documentaries will provide a film crew to document the event, with a view to telling the fascinating story of the Pfalz in a one-hour television documentary. As you can imagine, this is a ‘Long Shot’, but just think  how exciting it would be to write this amazing chapter in Australian and international history.

Most of the credit for making this project a reality goes to author Keith Quinton whose recent book, Stop the Pfalz,painstakingly and accurately recreates the Pfalz’ last moments.

His information and assistance has helped SOE narrow the search grid to a practical area. Let’s make history