MV Fugro Equator

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MV Fugro Equator
Fugro Equator operating in the search area in the southern Indian Ocean (1).jpg
The Fugro Equator in the Southern Indian Ocean during the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Name: MV Fugro Equator
Owner: Fugro Equator Inc.[1]
Operator: Fugro Survey Pte Ltd[1]
Port of registry: Nassau, Bahamas[1]
Completed: 2012[1]
In service: 27 July 2012[2]
Status: In active service
General characteristics
Type: Survey vessel
Tonnage: 1917 t (gross)[1]
Length: 65.65 m[1]
Beam: 14.0 m [1]
Draught: 4.20 m[1]
Installed power: 3x910 kW diesel generators[1]
  • 2 × 1100 kW rudder propellers (electric)
  • 400 kW bow thruster (electric)[1]
Speed: 12.5 knots (max cruising)[1]
Capacity: 42 persons[1]

MV Fugro Equator is a survey vessel owned and operated by Dutch company Fugro to provide a range of offshore survey capabilities.


Fugro took delivery of the ship on 27 July 2012. She is the third specially-designed, dedicated survey vessel delivered to Fugro and was planned to serve in the Asia-Pacific region.[2]

The ship was contracted to conduct a bathymetric survey in the southern Indian Ocean during the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The survey was needed to produce a bathymetric map of the sea floor of the search area, which was previously poorly mapped and largely uncharted and mountainous, before a phase of the search using a towed side-scan sonar vehicle and autonomous underwater vehicles which need to operate close to the seafloor.[4] In August 2017, it was announced that Fugro had been awarded the contract for that phase of the search and that Fugro Equator and sister ship Fugro Discovery would conduct the search (with some assistance from Malaysian & Chinese naval vessels).[5][6]

Duke of York Islands is located in Papua New Guinea
Duke of York Islands
Duke of York Islands
In December 2017, AE1 was located off the Duke of York Islands by MV Fugro Equator.

In December 2017, Fugro Equator conducted a search for the submarine HMAS AE1 lost in 1914, possibly due to a diving accident,[7] off the Duke of York Islands. This expedition was funded by the Commonwealth Government and the Silentworld Foundation with additional assistance from the Submarine Institute of Australia and the Australian National Maritime Museum.[8][9] As a result of this effort, the submarine was found at a depth of 300 metres (980 ft) and was seen to be well preserved and in one piece.[8] The exact location of the wreck was not announced by the Australian government at the time of discovery, in order to protect it from "unauthorised salvage attempts". The government's stated position is that the wreck will be treated as a war grave.[10]


The ship has digital seismic, acoustic, seabed, and sub-seabed mapping equipment as well as a dedicated Hugin 1000 autonomous underwater vehicle (capable of reaching 3,000 m depths).[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "M.V. Fugro Equator" (PDF). Fugro. 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b "M/V Fugro Equator - Delivery of new build Survey Vessel". Fugro. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 9 August 2014. On 27 July 2012, Fugro formally took delivery of a new-build vessel, M/V Fugro Equator
  3. ^ "FUGRO EQUATOR". Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  4. ^ Escritt, Thomas (19 June 2014). "Dutch survey vessel begins mapping ocean floor to aid hunt for MH370". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  5. ^ Thomas, Geoffrey (20 June 2014). "MH370 search shifts south". Yahoo! News Australia. The West Australian. Retrieved 10 August 2014.
  6. ^ "Contractor Announced for MH370 Underwater Search". JACC. Retrieved 29 August 2014.
  7. ^ Zhou, Naaman (21 December 2017). "Australian navy world war one AE1 submarine found 103 years after it vanished". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  8. ^ a b "'Found': Australian Navy Submarine HMAS AE1 located after 103 years". Navy News. 21 December 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2017.
  9. ^ Department of Defence (14 November 2017). "$500,000 grant to help find HMAS AE1". Navy Daily.
  10. ^ Fitzpatrick, Stephen (21 December 2017). "Missing WW1 submarine AE1 found with underwater camera". The Australian. Retrieved 21 December 2017.

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