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The next "SANTI Find the Eagle" expedition has started! - announcement and photo gallery

The third SANTI “Finding the Eagle” expedition starts on 23 May. This time, the team has decided to extend the search area and check one of the hypotheses stating that the Polish submarine ORP Orzeł went missing during the attack carried out by the German vessel Schnellboat S13 near the Dutch port of Den Helder.
Published: May 16, 2016 - 15:42
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 13:24
The next “SANTI Find the Eagle” expedition has started! – announcement and photo gallery

The third SANTI “Finding the Eagle” expedition starts on 23 May. This time, the team has decided to extend the search area and check one of the hypotheses stating that the Polish submarine ORP Orzeł went missing during the attack carried out by the German vessel Schnellboat S13 near the Dutch port of Den Helder. The expedition will last two weeks.

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The expansion of the search is possible thanks to the acquisition of new partners and sponsors for the project. For the first two years the expedition was based on the idea that the Eagle was accidentally shot down by a British Hudson aircraft. However, there are eight hypotheses of the Eagle’s disappearance.

“We are not abandoning the hypothesis of an attack by a British aircraft, but we are testing both of them in parallel. The two expeditions so far have consisted of investigating a specific location in the North Sea only through hydrographic equipment. This year we are going to a completely different place. If we find it in the south then we open a new page of history and that is to prove that the Eagle was lost in action. The Eagle has not been found for 76 years, so you have to be open to different hypotheses. We know from experience that wrecks can sometimes be found in a completely different area than indicated by historical data.” – said Tomasz Stachura, head of the “SANTI Find the Eagle” project

SANTI Team Finding the Eagle 1

This year divers will search for Eagle

The team is setting off with a full complement of 11 divers. This expedition, however, differs from the other two in that this year the divers will have the most work to do. The first two expeditions consisted mainly of searching the seabed with hydrographic equipment, including the specialist Multibeam made available by the Maritime Institute in Gdansk. Currently, the work of divers is necessary, because the objects and wrecks in this area are very damaged and only divers are able to check what wreck is on the seabed.

“There are many things we now have to investigate visually, the equipment is not able to show the wreck accurately. This is because in shallow waters the wrecks are heavily damaged. With a relatively shallow depth of 30-37 metres we can do two or three dives a day. The wrecks in the vicinity of Den Helder, where we go, are heavily overgrown with underwater vegetation, which further complicates identification. There are a lot of crabs, which have to be chased away in order to reach the wreck. It’s a bit like a coral reef.” – Tomasz Stachura further explains

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Systematic search for the Eagle

According to the idea of the “SANTI Find the Eagle” project, the team is searching for the shipwreck in a systematic way, as the project has been a long-term one from the beginning. The winter period is spent on searching and searching through documentation, meetings with people of the sea – hydrographers, employees of mining companies, etc. The team is in contact with some of them. The team is in constant contact with some of them and in this way checks further possible positions of the missing Eagle.

In April this year, a preparatory expedition took place in the Den Helder area. The divers explored six wrecks and made contacts with local wreck experts and divers, which resulted in the identification of potential interesting positions to check.

Tomasz Stachura - Head of SANTI Finding the Eagle

ORP “Orzeł” was built in Holland and its history is well known among divers here. Moreover, the Dutch lost their ship “O13” in similar circumstances to ORP “Orzeł” and they have been looking for it for years. The “SANTI Finding Eagle” team has been cooperating with these searchers for years, because the goal is similar.

“Never so far in Poland has there been a systematic search for the Eagle. And we are doing it – both with searching historical archives in Poland and abroad, organising expeditions on our own using specialised equipment or going underwater. I believe that this systematic approach and continuous hard work will bring results.” – explains Dr Benedykt Hac, expedition member, hydrographer.

SANTI Project Finding the Eagle

“SANTI Odnaleźć Orła” (SANTI is the name of the company producing clothing for divers, the head of which is Tomasz Stachura, and which is the title sponsor of the project ‘SANTI Odnaleźć Orła’) is a long-term project – a private initiative of a group of several people – professional divers, experts in hydrography and history.


Tomasz Stachura – Head of the “SANTI Find the Eagle” Project

Tomasz Stachura is one of the most active wreck divers in the Baltic Sea. He specialises in underwater photography of wrecks at great depths. He has taken thousands of underwater photographs of Baltic wrecks. A photo by him made it to the covers of several issues of National Geographic in 2014 and 2015. Member of Explorers Club New York.

Source: Press release

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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