21st century technology used to survey historic 17th century remains of ship

Quadcopter over Anne
Quadcopter over Anne

THE Shipwreck Heritage Centre has used a state-of-the-art quadcopter to survey the remains of the 324-year-old warship Anne at Pett Level.

The Anne survey team were joined by Professor Robert Stone, director, Human Interface Technologies Team University of Birmingham School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering and two of his students Chris Bibb and Vish Shingari.

The technology Bob Stone bought with him was a DJI Phantom 2 Vision known also as a ‘quadcopter’.

It has a camera and in built GPS and is remotely controlled with four engines and flies very nimbly like a helicopter. With Wi-Fi technology a cellphone is attached to the flight controller and the camera transmits live feed as it is flying.

Jacqui Stanford, the director of the museum and licensee of the Anne said: “This took place on an amazing morning with a great sunrise.

“The storms had done their worse throughout the last few months which meant that the Anne was revealed in all her glory and now we have amazing images.

“It is always a privilege to work on the Anne, but Sunday was in a league of its own.

“Our ultimate aim is to raise the funds to enable the University of Birmingham to produce a 3D image of the Anne so that our visitors to the Museum will be able to take a virtual reality tour of this historic ship.

“Huge thanks to Bob Stone and his team at the University of Birmingham who have funded this project thus far.

“Bob said the visit had been ‘fabulous’ and that about sums it up.”

The wreck of the 17th century English warship became visible at low tide for the first time in 16 years last winter.

The warship was built by Phineas Pett II at Chatham Dockyard and launched in 1678.

The HMS Anne, under the command of John Tyrrell, sunk off the shores of Pett Level in July 1690 after being damaged at the Battle of Beachy Head.

She was set alight to prevent it being captured by the French.

The remains were designated under the British Protection of Wrecks Act on June 20, 1974.

For the first time since January 1997, the skeletal remains of King Charles II’s 70-gun warship can be seen embedded in the sand.

Trustees from the Shipwreck Museum in Hastings are acting as custodians and are asking visitors not to step on or touch the wreckage.

For more information on the wreck of the Anne, contact the museum on 01424 437452.