Eighty years after its sinking in World War II, a new heritage virtual reality (VR) experience gives viewers a rare chance to explore the wreck of the Imperial Japanese submarine I-124.
Produced by Flinders University in partnership with NT Heritage and the Australian Underwater Cultural Heritage Program, the VR experience combines a recent multibeam sonar survey, historical footage, and informative commentary to take viewers to the wreckage site in western Beagle Bay near Darwin.
Imperial Japanese submarine I-124 sunk on January 20, 1942, following its engagement with the HMAS Deloraine off Darwin. The submarine’s sinking resulted in the loss of all seventy-four crew on board.
The I-124 was the first underwater wreck to be protected by any form of Commonwealth legislation and is now protected under the Australian Government’s Underwater Cultural Heritage Act 2018. Situated 42 metres below the surface, it rests within a protected zone, and access to the site by the public is by permit only.
As a protected site, this virtual reality experience offers everyone the chance to respectfully explore one of Australia’s 7500 shipwrecks while learning about its history and legacy.
- You can experience the I-124 VR tour on YouTube: Virtual dive on the wreck of I-124, a WWII Japanese submarine, off Darwin Harbour, Australia
- Learn more about the I-124 on the Australasian Underwater Cultural Heritage Database
- Learn more about Australia’s diverse underwater heritage