Suva Visit for Deep Sea Explorer
She’s state of the art, massive and she’s German. She is the new R.V Sonne - a 116-metre marine research vessel boasting the latest in deep-sea marine research technology and equipment. The high-tech multi-disciplinary research vessel, commissioned in 2014, berthed at Suva’s King’s Wharf in late June during one of its research trips to the South Pacific. To mark the occasion, a high-level reception was held on board where invited guests were welcomed by the German Ambassador, Gerhard Thiedemann. Home ported in Wilhelmshaven, Sonne is equipped to cover a wide range of marine research such as marine physics, geophysics, geology, chemistry and meteorology. To carry out deep-sea research it can deploy instruments to even the greatest depths of the world’s ocean known as the “hadal zone”, which starts at a depth of 6000 metres. During the Suva reception, German Scientist Professor Dr. Karsten Haase provided a brief on the previous outcomes, aspects and highlights of the research cruise. Professior Haase also provided an insight into deep-sea volcanological processes and associated ecosystems in Tongan waters. German Development Cooperation (GIZ) Climate Change Advisor Hanna Sabass concluded the event with a presentation about the German collaboration with Pacific Island Countries on ocean governance and conservation of marine biodiversity. Guests were given a tour of the vessel before celebrations continued into the night over fine wine, appetizing food and light banter.
SURVEYING GREAT DEPTHS
Sonne is larger than its predecessor, meaning it provides enough working space for the broad variety of submersibles, drill rigs and other oceanographic instruments that modern science requires. It has become apparent that it will be possible, in the future, for several complex machines to be onboard to be operated simultaneously or even in a concerted fashion,” scientist “There are 40 berths available, meaning it is possible to take the technical personnel required to operate the instruments,” says scientist Thomas Kuhn. Sonne is currently the only German research vessel with cables that can reach the lowest part of the ocean trenches. This is something that no other
Sonne’s captain with a scientist at the bridge.
Reception guests on board Sonne during her visit to Suva.
R.V Sonne at sea.