Port Phillip Bay is one of the largest capital city bays in the Southern Hemisphere. At 1930 square kilometres, the bay’s shoreline covers 264 kilometres. Finding a 40 kilogram six-inch shell in 25 metres of water will be a needle-in-a-haystack job. Luckily the search area is only 5-10 square kilometres.
The Longshot team has isolated this area based on the painstaking work of author Keith Quinton, who has spent years researching the Pfalz’ last moments. Keith’s 2013 book “Stop the Pfalz” is the most accurate account of the events of August 5th, 1914.
Keith Quinton and others have spent a great deal of time researching the possibility of finding the shell and we believe that if in fact the shell is still there, there is a real chance that it can be found.
Southern Ocean Exploration has worked closely with Keith to identify the probable location of the shell. Once SOE begins searching, the team will ‘mow the lawn’ for several weeks, trawling across the grid area using a G882 Marine Magnetometer.
This magnetometer is capable of finding very small metal items under meters of sediment.
SOE will undoubtedly uncover many metal items, all of which will need to be analysed.
Once the shell is detected the team will use sand vacuums to carefully excavate the area and reveal the shell.
SOE will measure and photograph the shot and will await further instructions from the relevant government departments, who will ultimately decide whether or not to raise the shell.
The Longshot is a not for profit project, the finances required will be community funded, relying on sponsorships and donations, with all participants in the project working on a volunteer basis.
Here is a very entertaining video from Parks Victoria where the BBC’s Tony Robinson explains the events of August 5th, 1914 on Port Philip Bay.