The U-Boat was located by the Schurmann Family in July 2011. Almost one year after locating the submarine, the Schurmanns joined efforts with deep sea diving experts to collect images of the U-513. With specialized technology, using a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) the expedition made a 135 meters dive to film and take pictures of the wreck, for the first time in history.
“After years of research, finally we watched this historical moment. We first saw a shadow then gradually the images became very clear, the submarine is almost intact and whole as if she was placed there to sleep” said Vilfredo Schurmann leader of the expedition.
“The ROV (Remotely operated underwater vehicle) did several dives and with every new image we celebrated this great feat” says David Schurmann, the film director.
It all began in 2001 aboard their sailing yacht “Aysso”, when the Schurmanns a well-known sailing and expedition family in Brazil, was told of the story of a German submarine, sunk in 1943 during WWII in the waters of Southern Brazil.
Vilfredo and Heloisa Schurmann where hooked on the mysterious story and started researching the facts in the National Archives in Washington – USA, Berlin – Germany and in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil.
They were granted a license from the Brazilian Navy, and obtained the support of the Santa Catarina Government and UNIVALI University and were sponsored by TOTVS, CPE (Coastal Planning & Engineering) and FUGRO BRAZIL to further the search.
A team of 35 professionals (all volunteers) which included divers, oceanographers, retired officers from the Brazilian and USA Navy & Air Force, archaeologists, historians, filmmakers and the last surviving member of the USA airplane responsible for the U-boat sinking aided on the search.
After 2 years and 18 expeditions at sea, operating Side Scanning Sonars and Magnetometer, on July 17th 2011 on board their adapted sailing yacht “Aysso”, the Schurmanns located the exact position of the sunken submarine.
On March 8, 2012, aboard two ships, the expedition led by Vilfredo Schurmann and a crew of 20, filmed for the first time in history since her sinking 68 years ago, images of U-513. The U-boat is considered one of the WWII submarines sunk furthers away from Germany during battle.
THE UNDERWATER FILMING
The underwater footage of the U-513 was made with a ROV model Sea Eye Falcon Marine, capable of operating up to 300 meters deep, assigned and operated by FUGRO BRAZIL.
S/V “Aysso” and M/V “Thunder” anchored at the location, launched the ROV (Remotely operated underwater vehicle) and with sonar-aided navigation (similar to a ship’s radar – working under water) located the submarine.
The recordings were performed with the ROV camera itself. For best results, HD 3D cameras were also mounted in housings to captured images of the submarine.
Sponsors: TOTVS, CPE, FUGRO BRAZIL
Support: Santa Catarina Government and UNIVALI University
The U-513, under the command of the German captain Karl Friedrich Guggenberger, had the mission to sink any enemy vessel on the route between Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro. She had already torpedoed three ships, including two Americans and a Brazilian.
The U-Boat-513 sank on July 19th, 1943. Lieutenant Roy S. Whitcomb was on a PBM-VP-74 flying-boat bomber on an antisubmarine sweep and spotted the surfaced U-boat. He ordered the attack. Captain Guggenberger on the deck of the submarine saw the approaching plane, he knew there was no time to submerge and began a counterattack. Whitcomb’s dropped six 225-pound bombs depth charges and the U-boat absorbed the full impact on her hull.
The U-513, 76 meters in length sunk immediately with its 46 crew. 7 men who were on deck where the only survivors, among them the captain Guggenberger.
THE SCHURMANN FAMILY
The Schurmann Family is the first Brazilian family to circumnavigate the world on a sailboat and the only Brazilian family to have done it twice. A household name in Brazil, the Schurmann Family has been active around the world through their online school program, as well as their films and TV programs.
In 1984 Vilfredo, Heloisa and their children left their home, their work and school and set off from Florianópolis, the capital city of the State of Santa Catarina, in southern Brazil, to pursue their dream: circumnavigate the world on a sailing yacht.
Their children, Pierre, David and Wilhelm, were 15, 10 and 7 years old. On this first adventure, the Schurmann Family spent 10 years at sea.
In 1997 the Schurmann Family began their second great adventure Magellan Global Adventure. The goal was to retrace the route sailed by Ferdinand Magellan’s fleet, the first complete circumnavigation of the planet. For this adventure, apart from the parents only their son David Schurmann and Kat, their 5-year-old daughter went along. Magellan Global Adventure was followed by more than 1,5 million people, from 44 countries. Every month the adventure’s filmed reports, broadcast internationally, had an average of 40 million television viewers in Brazil and many more around the world. After 30 months, the Schurmann’s yacht returned to Brazil.
The Family members are: Vilfredo, Heloisa, Pierre, David, Wilhelm and Kat Schurmann (d. 2006).
They have released 4 best sellers in Brazil and one box office hit documentary film: Books
• Em Busca do Sonho (2006) Portuguese
• Momentos De uma Aventura (2001) Portuguese/English
• Um Mundo de Aventuras (2002) Portuguese
• 10 Anos No Mar (1995) Portuguese
Films & TV
• O Mundo em Duas Voltas (The World in Two Round Trips) 2007 (Film)
• Em Busca do Sonho (Film)
• Magellan Global Adventure (TV Series)
• Schurmann Family 20 years (TV Series)