The Russian pink, the Unicorn, hit the Norwegian shoreline in 1760, and broke up Wreck fragments were scattered over a large area, some parts as deep as 280 meters. The Institute of Archaeology and the Department of Marine Systems Design at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have carried out an archaeological survey of the wreck site since 1994. To be able to find and keep track of all the various wreck parts, a survey tool had to be developed The starting point was a standard Geographic Information System (GIs) A software package called VETIS (Vehicle Tracking and Information System) was then developed VETIS keeps track of the research vessel and the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) which is used to carry out the survey Their positions are displayed on a map in the GIs system This enables the ROV pilot to navigate and search for wreck parts in a systematic and efficient way, and to visualise the area that has already been covered Whenever parts of the wreck are located, it is possible to log information about position and time and to include text messages about the objects. This information is stored in a database. The information can be replayed later and linked to the video from the site through time references Additional information such as pictures and text can also be added during replay The paper describes how the system works in more detail and summarises our experience with it so far


The Russian Navy ship Jedinorog (the Unicorn) was built in 1758/59 in Arkhangelsk as a pink, approximately 130 feet long and carrying 22 canons. The ship was on its way from Kronstad in the Baltic Sea to the Navy base in Arkhangelsk loaded with an unknown number of canons, lead, anchors and other commodities On November 16th 1760, the ship had reached the Smola island in the middle of Norway, when a storm broke. Two days later the ship's three masts had all broken and the ship was drifting out of control On the following night the ship hit the shoreline of the Saebu island and broke up and later sank No one seems to have survived the wrecking apart from twelve sailors that had been put ashore on the Smola island some days earlier (Jasinski, 1994)

The story of the wrecking was kept alive by the inhabitants of the island, but after more than 200 years the identity of the wreck could not be said for certain In 1994 parts of the wreck were re-located by a sonar survey carried out for a future pipeline track by a Norwegian oil company, Statoil. Studies of written sources revealed the identity of the ship, and diving archaeologists found some parts of the ship and its cargo in shallow water. The remaining parts of the hull had fallen off an underwater cliff and had to be situated in approximately 50–280 meters water depths

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