Airplane/helicopter crashes
F-16 recovery in 2016
F-16 recovery in 2016
Deep tow
Side scan sonar

The last 20 years the Institute of Oceanography of H.C.M.R with its specialized scientific equipment has also been involved in several detection and recovery surveys/operations of maritime accidents as well as aircraft/helicopter crashes into the sea. The aim of these surveys, is to investigate the accident submarine areas, using echo sounding devices (i.e., side scan sonar, deep tow), in order to detect shipwrecks and the wreckage of the crashed aircraft. After the finding of the planes debris, a visual inspection carried out with remotely operated underwater vehicle (MAX ROV) to identify the most interesting parts for recovering.

The indicative surveys after 2001 are:

  • Ambulance Helicopter crash in 2001 (South of Sounio Cape, water depth: 240m)
  • Ambulance Helicopter crash in 2003 (South Ikaria Isl., Central Aegean Sea, water depth:


  • Mirage 2000 crash in 2003 (Central Aegean Sea, water depth: 540m)
  • Helicopter Chinook crash in 2004 (North Aegean Trough, water depth: 875m)
  • SEA DIAMOND cruiser shipwreck, in Easter 2007 (Santorini Caldera, water depth: 140m)
  • F-16 (double) crash in 2010 (Chrisi Island, south of the Ierapetra, Cretan sea, 970m


  • F-16 crash in 2014 (South Crete Area, water depth: 1050m )
  • F-16 recovery in 2016 (South Crete Area, water depth: 1050m )

It is notable that is the second time worldwide that an entire aircraft (except for cockpit) is recovered from depths below 1000m, after an open competition

  • Mirage 2000 crash in 2017 (NE Evvoia Island, Central Aegean Sea, water depth: 540m)
  • Mirage 2000-5 crash in 2018 (NE Skyros Island, North Aegean Sea, depth: 870m)