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04/07/01 - Day 3

Rough weather halts progress

Rob White reports

Today the ocean began to show us her true colours. As our search ship pushed deeper into the Atlantic, winds gusted up to 42 knots, and the sea state worsened sharply - with nine foot waves putting even 'Northern Horizon's seakeeping qualities to the test.

rough seas

The Atlantic gets rough

But the big decision's been taken. We're off to search for the wreck of the giant German battleship 'Bismarck' first - so we can tell the whole story of the epic battle that began with the sinking of HMS 'Hood', and ended with the destruction of 'Bismarck' - one of the most powerful warships the world had ever seen.

For Search Director David Mearns, the weather is more than just a hard ride - it's a real worry. The clock's running, and he wants to get his towfish sonar working as soon as possible. But as he told his team today: "You can be tricked by the weather...if it gets worse you may find yourself with a real problem when you have to get the towfish back out of the water."

David's frustration was plain

David's frustration was plain

Ron Schmidt, Supervisor for our dive company Oceaneering Technologies, agrees. "This is where I have to take a hard line" he said. "It's better to hold off a little bit and not damage the equipment than to damage it and have it not working in nice weather. That's the worst..."

But tonight as we arrived close to where we'll start the 'Bismarck' search, David's frustration was plain as he gazed at the plot showing our ship just over the search area. But we'll all know what's next soon enough - first weather check for the sonar tomorrow is at first light!

Full Listing
26/07/01 -
Finally - a service of remembrance

The Hood Photo Appeal

25/07/01 -
More big discoveries

23/07/01 -
She's found!

22/07/01 -
Keeping in position

21/07/01 -
Tracking the ocean floor

20/07/01 -
Sonar finds "promising target"

19/07/01 -
Combing the search box

18/07/01 -
Transfers and goodbyes

17/07/01 -
Meet the search team

16/07/01 -
Meet the survey team

15/07/01 -
Meet the experts

14/07/01 -
Meet the film crew

13/07/01 -
Farewell to the Bismarck

12/07/01 -
A service of remembrance

11/07/01 -
More filming from the deep

10/07/01 -
The Bismarck plaque is laid

09/07/01 -
The Bismarck is found!

07/07/01 -
Staying on track

06/07/01 -
The sonar is finally launched

05/07/01 -
More frustration for the team

04/07/01 -
Rough weather halts progress

03/07/01 -
Expedition to film the Bismarck

03/07/01 -
Holding a steady course

02/07/01 -
Northern Horizon leaves Cork

28/06/01 -
David Mearns in Webchat

27/06/01 -
ITN's Rob White reports from the ship