Secrets of the island of Matua

There continues a joint expedition of the Russian Geographical Society and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation to the island of Matua. This time the specialists of the Center for Underwater Studies of the Russian Geographical Society conducted a survey of the ancient sunken ship.

Initially, the researchers thought that at the bottom there could be a Japanese vessel, "Roi Maru", which was torpedoed by the Americans during the war years. But on closer inspection it became clear that the ship was of German origin. On the dashboard found by the divers, the inscription "Augsburg" - the so-called armored decker German cruiser, transferred to Japan as reparations in 1920 - is clearly distinguishable.  

At the Center for Underwater Studies of the Russian Geographical Society there is being explained the mismatch in the fact that ships were often transferred or sold to another country, where they were given another name. The specialists of the Russian Geographical Society are planning to turn to the German colleagues, in order to find out the history of origin of the vessel.

Complex work on the study of the island of Matua in the Kuril chain has been carried out by the Russian Geographical Society together with the Russian Defense Ministry since 2016. The specialists conducted more than 1000 laboratory studies on physicochemical and biological indicators, made more than 200 measurements of the relief and the external environment. Radiation and chemical reconnaissance was conducted as well, there were inspected fortifications of the island and more than 100 historical sites. The divers carried out work on hydrographic exploration of the bays and coves of the island of Matua.

Let us recall that earlier the expedition team discovered a whole fleet of Japanese military equipment, studied the species composition of the offshore coasts of the Kurile Islands. Also, the experts continue to investigate the activity of Sarychev Peak volcano.