New German research vessel inaugurated by Chancellor Merkel

2014.07.15

 

The new 116 m long ship will go into service in December 2014 and will focus its activities on the Pacific and Indian ocean.

RV Sonne  Credit: M. Wessels, MEYER WERFT

 

The research vessel is named after its 45 year old predecessor the RV “SONNE”. The main difference with the former SONNE, a converted fishing trawler is that the current vessel was purposely build to conduct research activities. Research covered by the new “SONNE” will range from aspects of climate change, research of marine biodiversity in deep seas, sustainable exploration of marine resources, research on georisks, volcanology and natural disasters up to geochemistry and the study of oceanic currents.

During the official inauguration in Rostock Chancellor Merkel called the “SONNE” ‘the new star at the German research sky and wished it safe travels. The brand new ship cost 124 Million Euro and is largely funded by the German Ministry of Research in addition to the coastal regions. On board the vessel can accommodate 35 crew members and 40 scientists for a period of up to 52 days at sea.

The new research vessel will also be key in the implementation of the JPI Oceans pilot action on deep sea mining. Envisaged is a three-legged cruise of 90 days to visit the DISCOL (DISturbance and re-COLonization experiment) area off the coast of Peru where a sea-floor disturbance experiment was carried out in the 1980s as well as to conduct research in the various claims of European countries in the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone in the Pacific Ocean.