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Silvercrest Submarines news letter (2003 Pt 1)

Taurus Submarine.

As many of you know , we have been away in South Africa for the last few months with the Taurus submarine (six man, depth 1000ft). A very interesting dive location with some two thousand shipwrecks lost over the last few hundred years. Also lots of marine life including great white sharks (nearly as big as the sub!!). Taurus is currently available for short or long term charter. Contact Silvercrest for details.

BMIV Submersible for sale.

For sale in excellent condition, this four- man deep diving submersible with diver lockout facility. We also have immediately available a range of multi passenger tourist submarines, small two / three man submersibles, and one man ADS units. Pilot training and maintenance courses are arranged to support every submarine sale if required. Please contact us to discuss your exact requirements.

Israeli Sub Dakar.

The tragic loss of the Israeli submarine Dakar on her maiden voyage in 1968, and the discovery by Nauticos Corp. 30 years later, was the subject of a National Geographic underwater documentary shown on the National Geographic Channel in the United States recently. The Dakar was a WWII T-class boat, built by the British and sold to the Israelis after modifications, upgrades, and sea trials. In 1968, the Dakar was en route to Haifa via Gibraltar on her maiden voyage for delivery to the operational fleet. During this transit, communications inexplicably ceased and the submarine disappeared. Under contract for the Israeli Navy, Nauticos -- along with subcontractors Williamson & Associates Inc. (Seattle, Washington) and Phoenix International Inc. (Landover. Maryland) -- set out to find the Dakar in May 1999. The submarine was found badly damaged and resting at depth of 10,000 feet in the Mediterranean. For more, go to

For Sale - the world's most advanced Tourist submarine.

The DS100 all acrylic submarine and support vessels . This amazing tourist submarine is currently available for sale complete with Support Barge/Dry-dock and passenger Catamaran for only US $2.965 million. An ideal package for an instant tourist submarine business. Actual replacement value for all three vessels is US$7.3 million. Available for immediate inspection. Joint venture may also be considered at US$1.5 million minimum. Submarine operating depth - 100 m. Passengers - 45. Crew - 2 . Length - 19 m. Weight in air - 90 tons.

The Support Barge was built specifically to support the DS100's operations. This 85 foot long, 95-ton vessel has extraordinary manoeuvring capability through two Schottel drives. It has an integrated hydraulic lift for dry-docking the DS100 from the water. The support barge also has the battery chargers, high-pressure air compressors, oxygen transfer pump, workshop space, tools and spare parts necessary to operate and maintain the submarine.

The DS100 Passenger Catamaran (14m long) is a high-speed passenger transfer vessel powered by twin 350 hp Caterpillar diesels. The catamaran is able of carry 90 passengers at speeds of 18 knots. Passengers are transferred to the stable support platform of the Support Barge where the DS100 docks after each dive. The replacement value is US$525,000.

U-Boat Submarine.

A unique opportunity to purchase a (U-boat), ex military diesel-electric submarine, 300 feet (90m) long. Designed for continental shelf operations, with a range of two thousand miles. These submarines are not in working order, and may have been partially stripped of some internal parts. Ideal for conversion to use as maritime museums, cocktail bars or restaurants in static locations. Crew: 75. Displacement: 2,475 tons. Two submarines available immediately, and ready for towing. Location England. US$287,000 each (as is where is). Contact Silvercrest for details.

Commander reveals future vision for Russian Navy.

The Russian Navy should have 12-15 strategic missile submarines, 50 nuclear-powered attack submarines and 35 diesel submarines as well as some 70 ocean-going surface combatants, according to its Commander-in-Chief, Adm Vladimir Kuroyedov.

Submarine web sites for your collection.

The following web sites will be of interest to all submarine and Rov enthusiasts. and

Deep Diving Submarine to S.Africa to film the Coelacanth Fish.

The deep diving submarine Taurus has been requested to film a unique colony of rare Coelacanth fish, recently located off the south east coast of Africa. The fish were discovered living in caves at the depth range of 300 to 600ft.

New Submarine Rescue System.

Following the tragic accident involving the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk, which sank in the Barents Sea, has stimulated worldwide interest in rescue systems. Kockums has recently launched its new submarine rescue vehicle. The new vehicle is a further development of the Swedish URF submarine rescue system. Already proven in service with the Royal Swedish Navy, the system offers a whole range of operational benefits.

Construction of South African Submarines

Work on the first 209/1400 submarine for the South African Navy has commenced at the waldtswerke-Deutsche Werft AG shipyard in Kiel, Germany. The submarine is part of a contract for three boats to be delivered by the German Submarine Consortium to the South African Navy between 2005 and 2007. The order is worth approximately 700 million Euro and is part of an order package which HDW, TNSW, Ferrostaal and the Government of South Africa signed in Pretoria on 3 December 1999.

Search Is On for WW II Sub Detection Networks

Prior to the outbreak of World War II, the Japanese began construction of several different types of midget submarines. Recognizing the strategic importance of such a weapon for combat use, Japan built hundreds of these "mini subs" ranging in size from just under 80 feet to more than 100 feet. Designed to carry a crew of two to three sailors and armed with two torpedoes, these small subs were originally intended to be transported on ships and deployed in the path of an enemy fleet. However, very quickly the Japanese saw the advantages of using the mini subs for special operations inside enemy harbours where conventional submarines could not go. To enhance their stealth capability, the midget subs were modified to ride atop full size subs and be deployed at sea near the target location. Their compact size and shallow draft allowed them to easily penetrate coastal and wreak severe damage. Mini subs were involved in the surprise attack on Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, and in raids on Sydney, Australia, and Diego Suarez in the Indian Ocean. In 1942/43 the boats were deployed off Guadalcanal where they achieved modest success against U.S. shipping. By the mid 1940s the mini subs were a scourge feared by allied forces.
To defend against these midget subs, the allies began constructing sub detection networks along the entrances to their key harbours. The networks consisted of cables laid down on the harbour floor that could detect the passage of a steel hull vessel over them. In some of the harbours, miles of cable were laid down. Today, more than 50 years after the war, many of the countries that still have these detection networks are having them removed for a variety of reasons. One is that many ports are expanding or having their harbours dredged deeper to accommodate today's larger ships. The cables are an obstacle to dredging operations and a potential hazard for ships anchoring. Another reason for removing the cables is their enormous scrap value. Most of the cables were constructed of copper, but with copper in such short supply during the war years, some were actually made of silver with the intent of reclaiming them after the war. However, very little salvage was ever done. Consortiums of private investors and government officials are now being formed to locate and remove these cables.

World Records, New Technologies at Sixth International Submarine Races.

New world speed records and innovations in propulsion systems were highlights of the successful running of the 6th International Submarine Races, an engineering design competition held at the U.S. Navy's David Taylor Model Basin. The ISR is one of the world's most unusual human-powered vehicle races in which custom-designed, wet (flooded) submarines, powered by crews wearing scuba gear, compete against the clock on an underwater, 100-meter course. Omer 4, a sleek, dolphin-like, one-person submarine from the University of Quebec, established a world speed record of 7.192 knots (more than 8.2 miles per hour) on the final day of racing, beating its previous record set the day before and besting the existing world record of 6.997 knots established in 1997 by Omer 3. A surprisingly second-fastest showing -- particularly against major university competition -- was turned in by an independent sub, Scuba-Doo, designed, built, and crewed by a recent high school graduate from Wheaton, Maryland, and a Navy civilian engineer. The sub achieved 5.088 knots. Virginia Polytechnic University's sleek Phantom 3 sub, using a prop borrowed from Scuba-Doo, posted a speed of 5.017 knots to third place in the one-person, propeller-driven division. The single-person subs were a clear trend in new vehicle design, with reduced weight obviously increasing performance. Speeds have steadily increased since the first race in 1989.
In the closing ceremonies, the $1,000 award for overall performance, sponsored by the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society, went to Virginia Polytechnic University. Judging was for speed and manoeuvrability in the water as well as high-tech design of composite materials, computerized advanced power-to-propulsion conversion, and the team's response to challenging and changing circumstances during race week. In one of the most unusual team efforts, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy fielded a submarine named Jonah, looking pretty much like the skeletal remains of a big bluefin tuna. Made of scavenged pieces of scrap aluminium that formed ribs, attached to the spine with screws and duct tape, Jonah is an open sub without a hull. It completed the course, taking nearly 30 minutes to do so, at less than a knot and to the cheers of all the other submariners. This sub, not only designed to look like a fish, also acted like one; it waved its large plastic tail for power as it swam down the 100-meter course.

Investment and Business Opportunity.

We currently have two exciting investment opportunities which you may wish to investigate.

Copper salvage. Six shipwrecks with copper cargo have been located off the south west coast of Africa, depth 300ft to 600ft. The research and salvage team have formed an investment syndicate to salvage and sell the cargoes. Minimum investment of US$50,000 per syndicate member.

Tourist Submarine Company.

This SA based company has negotiated to purchase a ten-man tourist submarine for their Indian Ocean resort. Permits are in place and the location receives 600,000 tourists per annum. Excellent marine life and two shipwrecks on the dive site. Minimum investment of US$100,000 gives an equity stake in this exciting venture.

Civil War Sub Captain's Remains Found.

Marine archaeologists reported that the remains of the captain of the CSS Hunley were found in sediment inside the U.S. Civil War submarine. The discovery brought archaeologists a step closer to solving the mystery of why the vessel sank on the final leg of its historic mission during the Civil War. The steel-hulled Hunley was lost off the South Carolina coast on February 17, 1864, shortly after driving an explosive charge into the Union ship USS Housatonic, sinking that wooden-hulled ship. The Housatonic was part of a Union blockade of Charleston Harbour during the war. The Hunley was discovered last year after a decades-long search by adventure novelist Clive Cussler and his National Underwater Marine Agency. Archaeologists excavating the forward hull of the Hunley, the first submarine to sink an enemy warship in battle, also unearthed a lantern believed used by the crew to signal to Confederate sentries on shore near Charleston that they had completed their mission and were heading back to port. "I think it's safe to say that the hunt for submarine captain Lt. George Dixon is over. He is on board the sub. We have all nine" crewmen, said state Sen. Glenn McConnell, chairman of the Hunley Commission. Although Confederate sentries reported seeing a blue light from the lantern on board the Hunley -- a signal to light bonfires to guide the submarine home -- the vessel never returned to port. It was raised from the seafloor last year, with nine crewmen entombed inside. Dixon, who was well over 6 feet tall, piloted the submarine crouched in a 4-foot-diameter forward hull and looking through the eyepiece.
More at

Rusting Nuclear Graveyard.

On the north coast of the desolate Kola Peninsula - three nuclear submarines lie rusting in the icy waters of Snezhnogorsk. These submarines will never again be used; in that sense, their presence is good news. But those with responsibility for looking after them fear that these vessels, and dozens of others like them, could yet cause a catastrophe, which would make the Chernobyl disaster pale into insignificance. Two years ago, when he was U.K. Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook promised 5m to help with the nuclear clean-up in the Murmansk region, as part of a larger programme in the former Soviet Union, where environmental considerations always came bottom of the list. None of the money has been delivered and Russians believe it may be too late.

A Superior Surveillance Platform.

The submarine will continue to play a leading role in tomorrow's IT-oriented defence force, when what is currently known as the RMA doctrine is implemented in practice. The submarine, which can operate unseen, can, in addition to its many other roles, also become the armed forces' primary source of intelligence, able to gather intelligence above and below the surface, for transmission in real time to a command centre. The submarine was a gatherer of intelligence earlier too. But in the new defence scenario, its role as intelligence gatherer will acquire a whole new dimension.

Robots to Replace Submariners

The Astute class vessels, due to enter service with the Royal Navy in 2005, are expected to be the last submarines of their kind before a new generation of unmanned submersible weaponry takes over. Senior officers are examining a range of remote-controlled underwater robots that will revolutionise the force known as the "silent service". Manned submarines are expected to be used for command and transport roles rather than fighting sea battles, according to U.K. Ministry of Defence plans for the future of the Navy in the 21st century.

Submarine Rescue Systems.

The opportunity of suffocating in an icy steel coffin several hundred meters below the ocean's surface is not high on the list of reasons most young men join the Navy. The lingering deaths endured by the survivors of the initial explosions aboard the Russian submarine Kursk are testament to the need for highly-developed undersea rescue systems. With the Russian catastrophe fresh in their minds, both the Americans and Europeans are working hard to come up with a more effective way of retrieving trapped sailors. The logistical and engineering challenges in rescuing personnel from a damaged submarine are colossal. 615 people have lost their lives in submarine accidents since the end of World War 2.

how to contact us

Silvercrest can provide the solution to all your submarine and submersible requirements (big or small). Contact us at anytime (24hours), to discuss submarine chartering, leasing, buying, and selling. Alternatively call us for a friendly chat, to discuss your proposed underwater project and ideas. We will always offer suggestions and advice.

European Office (England). Tel: (+44) 1285.760620. Fax: (+44) 1285.760620.