LATEST PROJECT: Jade Dragon Wreck

Fishermen recently found a c.1300 wreck off the northern-most tip of Borneo. Maritime Explorations surveyed the site under license within 3 months of the initial discovery. It was a SE Asian lashed-lug ship with a cargo of Longquan celadon, and it was fully looted, a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly frequent.

Site Details


Maritime Explorations, previously known as Archaeological Salvage and Engineering, was originally established in Singapore in 1992 to provide consulting and project management services for all aspects of work involving historical shipwrecks. Operations have since been expanded to include joint-venture projects and direct participation with regional Governments. Search and recovery services are now also offered for more recent wrecks, such as those lost during World War II. In 2004 Maritime Explorations (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. was established in order to carry out shipwreck survey and excavation work under license to the Malaysian Government.

Managing Director, Dr. Michael Flecker, has 26 years of experience in surveying for and archaeologically excavating ancient shipwrecks. He has a First Class Honours Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Western Australia and a totally unrelated Ph.D. from the Southeast Asian Studies Programme of the National University of Singapore (NUS) based on his excavation of a 10th century shipwreck in Indonesia. The resultant thesis has been published as a book by the British Archaeological Report series (see List of Publications). While NUS does not specifically award degrees in maritime archaeology the thesis is specifically on that subject.

Maritime Explorations has carried out shipwreck survey and excavation projects in Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia. These projects were undertaken in conjunction with local partners, and complied with all Government licensing requirements. Through such experience the company is able to offer consultancy and project management services, and/or joint-venture participation to other companies or individuals involved in legitimate shipwreck activities worldwide.


The importance of maritime archaeology is emphasised throughout this site. This is not just lip service. Significant archaeological information is irretrievably lost on a daily basis throughout Asia and many other parts of the world, through illegal salvage, irresponsible legal salvage, dynamite fishing, and trawling. While institutional excavation may be the ideal situation, funding and personnel are simply not available in many countries. Maritime Explorations therefore recognises that one of the best ways to combat this loss is to allow responsible commercial excavation of shipwreck sites, whereby the site and all artefacts are fully documented prior to any sale, and an across-the-board representative sample of artefacts is retained by the host country for future study and museum display.

Through the experience and multi-disciplinary qualifications of the Managing Director, investors, partnerships, and a pool of professional personnel, Maritime Explorations can genuinely offer the following wide range of services and has the track record to prove it.






For more details see: Michael Flecker Resume
List of Publications (many available online)
  Map showing most discoveries and excavations
Services: Research
Electronic Survey
Wreck Assessment
Vessel and Equipment Mobilisation
Salvage / Excavation
On-Site Documentation
Post-Project Research
Reporting / Publication
Vessels and Equipment: Survey Catamaran
  Side-Scan-Sonar - Yellowfin
  Magnetometer - Marine Magnetics Explorer
Magnetometer - Geometrics Digital G-877

Excavated Shipwrecks: Nuestra de la Concepcion (1638)
Vung Tau Shipwreck (c. 1690)
  Phu Quoc Shipwreck (14th - 15th C.)
Central Gulf of Thailand Shipwreck (16th C.)
Java Sea Shipwreck (13th C.)
Intan Shipwreck (10th C.)
Belitung (Tang) Shipwreck (9th C.)
Bakau Shipwreck (15th C.)
Tin Shipwreck (18th C.)
  Binh Thuan Shipwreck (c. 1608)
  M1J Shipwreck (c. 1583?)
  Jade Dragon Wreck (c. 1300)
Images for sale. Full resolution digital versions of all the photographs appearing in this website and many others belonging to Maritime Explorations are available for use in publications for a small fee. Click HERE to view some more examples.
Email: contact via Linkedin (to avoid spam)


Note that response may be delayed if field work is under way.