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Villefranche OOV 2015-2


On November 3, 4 and 5, ICTINEU 3 finished the certification and obtained the classification by the company DNV-GL, being approved by French Maritime Affairs for dives up to 1.000 meters in depth.

With this milestone, the ICTINEU 3 became the 7th submarine that has been built in the European Union capable of submerging up to 1,000 meters deep with crew members in the interior. And it is one of the 3 operational submarines in the EU that can reach this depth.

Marcador 1000m

After finishing the last tests in the south of Cap Ferrat on the French Riviera, during the first day there were three dives to 30, 59 and 308 meters deep; on the second day two verification tests on the open sea at 200 and 240 meters; and on the third day a single dive of 4 hours starting at sea open in front of Cap Ferrat and down to the bottom of the canyon of Villefranche, at 1,000 meters deep.

In these dives the submarine was manned by a pilot of ICTINEU Submarins, Pere Forès, and an inspector of the DNV-GL classification society.

Scientific campaign

During the following days, scientific immersions took place, with seven scientists, three underwater photographers and two television reporters. A total of 12 dives at 123m, 41m, 115m, 119m, 115m, 30m, 30m, 400m, 400m, 140m, 105m, and 118m deep with a total of 23 hours in the sea and almost 12 hours underwater.

2015-11-05 Primera immersió a 1000 m 011

Three different areas have been explored: the vertical walls that are in the south of the Cape of Nice, the top of the Canyon of Villefranche where the observatory has a sophisticated oceanographic buoy installed, and the water column to the south from Cap Ferrat up to 400 meters deep.


In the mission a great explosion of plankton and gelatinous animals was observed; a very rich background in gorgonians was observed, which grows in size as more sunlight arrives. It was also possible to appreciate how the red coral is recovered, and how archaeological remains can be seen in the deep and dark areas where these remains practically remain intact and are not covered by life, but only by a slight layer of sea snow. Sadly, many traces of fishing gear were detected to a great extent.


This important milestone was possible thanks to the collaboration of: