Detection and demarcation survey of a Short Sterling in the Markermeer

T&A Survey conducted a detection and demarcation investigation for the Municipality of Almere into the suspected wreckage of a British bomber crashed in the Markermeer during the Second World War. The goal of the survey is to enable the salvaging operation of the aircraft.

The Crash

The Short Stirling Mk III crashed approximately 3.5 km off the coast of Almere in the night of 29 to 30 May 1943. It was suspected that the wreckage also contained the remains of the crew members and (part of) the bomb load.


Before an actual salvaging operation can be started, a detection investigation had to take place. The aim was the accurately locate and perform a depth analysis of the wreckage parts and explosives. For this purpose, ferrous and non-ferrous detection techniques were  moved across the research area with a survey boat.

Delineation study with divers

The detection survey has resulted in various suspected objects and locations. The client wanted a further investigation with certified divers on several locations just outside the demarcated area, in order to be able to determine with greater certainty whether the project area might need to be expanded. Equipped with a metal detector or gradiometer and video camera, the divers relocated the disturbances and identification could begin. Where the disturbance was deep in the sludge layer, the sludge was removed with a suction pump and passed through a sieve installation. This eliminated the chance of missing possible evidence.


Remains of the aircraft wreck have been found at a number of locations. The research results have been reported and evaluated with the Staff Officer for Aircraft Storage (SOVB), the person responsible for aircraft salvaging. Thanks to this research, it was possible to put the final salvaging operation on the market.

Photo below right: part of landing gear found on location.