Nearly 14 years ago an archeologist and diver, Jim Delgado, found something magnificent. He was on a ship passing the San Telmo Island in Pearl Archipelago, Panama when it occurred to him that the area was known for a sunken Japanese WWII submarine.
Intrigued by the story and the history behind the possible wreck, Delgado wondered about initiating a mission to find it. Luckily, from his ship he saw something towering on the island. It was all rusted out and Delgado felt he had to go investigate.
Delgado managed to find a beached submarine in the area mentioned in the stories he had heard. However, what he did not anticipate was that the submarine was not Japanese, as the stories relate.
The Japanese had examined this submarine and stated that it did not belong to them.Subsequently, Jim Delgado of the Vancouver Maritime Museum investigated the wreck.
After five years, it was identified as the “Sub Marine Explorer”, an underwater craft designed by Julius H. Kroeh, a German engineer who also reportedly died because of this vessel, that was one of the world’s first submarines.
Investigations revealed that there were several technical problems in the vessel which had resulted in several tragedies and the submarine was an “iron coffin” in the Pacific Ocean bed.