MARITIME EXPLORATIONS
MICHAEL FLECKER RESUME (from 2015 back to 1984)

B. Eng (Civil)

PhD (Maritime Archaeology - SE Asian Studies)

Side-scan-sonar and marine magnetometer operator

Diver / Diving Supervisor (all air systems)

Barge Master / Marine Superintendent

Managing Director of Maritime Explorations (since 1992)

Specialty - ancient Asian ship construction

 

Singapore: Visiting Fellow at the Nalanda Sriwijaya Centre, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Examining early shipping in the South China Sea with a view to historic claims in this troubled region.

Singapore: ExxonMobil, Bunyu Urip Project. Construction/Operations Interface Lead for an FSO conversion carried out at Sembawang Shipyard.

Ireland: With a combination of magnetometer, side-scan and fishermen information, locate the WWI wreck, Eugene Pergeline in 120 m of water off County Cork. Samples taken by ROV confirm that her cargo of "nickel" is in fact nickel ore. Its a high grade ore but nowhere near high enough to make salvage financially viable.

Perth, Australia / Singapore: ICON Engineering / Beagle Bay Marine: Project Manager. Undertook a detailed study of cyclone mooring requirements for the proposed Browse LNG Project marine construction spread on behalf of Woodside Energy Limited. Site selection was the pivotal element, providing for the safe and rapid demobilisation and remobilisation of vessels and crews. A comparative mooring load study utilised metocean data and time domain analysis to determine the extreme loads likely to be experienced at the short-listed sites. The Report also assessed potential personnel shelters, detailed a risk analysis, investigated the complex approvals process, and determined how best to work with and benefit the neighbouring Indigenous communities.

Perth, Australia: Director of Beagle Bay Marine Pty Ltd., a company established to design, construct and manage a marine support facility at Beagle Bay in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The facility is intended to support the development of the LNG resource in the adjacent Browse Basin. All work is being done in conjunction with the Traditional Owners, and is currently in the complex permitting phase.

Sabah, Malaysia: Archaeologically investigated a new shipwreck find off the northernmost tip of Borneo. Despite intervention just three months after the initial discovery, the wreck was found to be completely looted. Remnants revealed that the ship was a late example of SE Asian lashed-lug construction, and was carrying an exclusive cargo of Longquan celadon from China to Borneo. It is now known as the Jade Dragon Wreck.

With a permit from the Sabah Museum, carried out side-scan-sonar and magnetometer survey in two areas adjacent to the Jade Dragon Wreck.

Perth, Australia, Brookfield Multiplex: Outfall Deputy Project Manager and Marine Superintendent. Developed the procedure for the deployment of a 15 tonne Stevpris hold-back anchor and 5.6 km of 90 mm diameter pull-wire, and for the installation of 3.8 km of 1.5 m diameter weight coated steel pipe for the Alkimos Sewerage Treatment Plant by the bottom pull method. 3 km of limestone reef had to be trenched using drilling and blasting, a back-hoe dredge, and a jack-up dredge. Served as Marine Superintendent on the pull barge during the pipe pull. The 55 m barge was fitted with a 400 tonne capacity linear winch. Also oversaw rock dumping from the DP side-dumping vessel, Pompei.

 

 

Singapore/Algeria, Hyflux: Marine Project Manager. Dredged through 300 m of rock to depths up to 7 m below seabed level for the installation of 2.6 m and 1.8 m dia GRP pipe for a 200 million litre a day desalination plant intake and discharge. Utilised a back-hoe dredge fitted with a Liebherr 994. Commenced the installation of the pipe by divers but the early onset of winter weather closed out the job.

 

 

 

 

Indonesia: Inspected a 15th century shipwreck with a small cargo of Chinese blue-and-white porcelain and Thai ceramics in the Java Sea. Found the wreck to be heavily looted. No hull remains were found, however from the cargo and period, the vessel was probably of the South China Sea Tradition.

North Atlantic: Undertook deep water side-scan and magnetometer surveys for WWI shipwrecks. Utilised an ROV to identify the numerous wrecks that were discovered. Work is very much seasonal, and is ongoing.

Oman: Consultant maritime archaeologist for the design and construction of a replica Arab dhow based on the 9th century Belitung Wreck. The project is a joint venture between the Oman and Singapore governments and has been designated the "Jewel of Muscat".

Brazil: Established a research programme and carried out preliminary side-scan and magnetometer surveys.

Malaysia: Established Maritime Explorations (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. and acquired a permit to survey for shipwrecks in Malaysian waters. The initial side-scan and magnetometer survey resulted in the discovery of a late 16th century European shipwreck. Subsequent survey led to the discovery of two more wrecks of the same period, lying side-by-side on the seabed. These are the oldest European shipwrecks so far discovered in Malaysian waters.

Vietnam: Surveyed two 15th century Thai shipwrecks off Phu Quoc Island. Unfortunately both were heavily looted, although one had much coherent hull remaining. Both contained cargoes of Thai Sukhothai and Sawankhalok ceramics.

Australia: Represented the Binh Thuan People's Committee and the Vietnam Salvage Corporation as facilitator and promotor for a Christie's Australia auction of the Binh Thuan Shipwreck Cargo. All lots were sold for a total of A$2 million. Part of the proceeds has been earmarked for the construction of a museum in Binh Thuan Province.

Vietnam: In conjunction with the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, the Vietnam Salvage Corporation, and the Binh Thuan People's Committee, directed the excavation of an early 17th century Chinese junk with a cargo of Zhangzhou (Swatow) ceramics and iron pans. It is the first cargo of Zhangzhou ceramics to ever be discovered, and one of the few Chinese junks as yet found in Southeast Asian waters. It is known as the Binh Thuan Wreck.

Philippines: Carried out visual and magnetometer survey for a frigate engaged in the "Manila Galleon" trade. Found probable evidence of the initial wrecking location, although it seems that the vessel eventually sank in deep water.

Singapore: Obtained a Ph.D. from the National University of Singapore. The doctoral thesis was based on the excavation of the 10th century Intan Wreck (see below) and included a detailed description of the ship, artefacts, and their distribution, which lead to discussion on trade routes, ship building technology, and most importantly, the interaction of trade, religion and cultures as evidenced by the recovered artefacts.

Indonesia: Directed the excavation of an 18th century wreck found by Maritime Explorations during an earlier side-scan-sonar survey. Mobilised a 55 m accommodation/dive support barge from Singapore, and used an in-water decompression on oxygen diving system to recover several hundred tonnes of tin ingots.

Indonesia: Carried out side-scan-sonar and magnetometer survey on a speculative basis around reefs lying in the trade routes of pre-16th century (pre-European) Asian vessels.

Indonesia: Directed the excavation of a 9th century Arab ship with a cargo of Chinese ceramics, mostly from the Changsha kilns, now known as the Belitung Wreck. This is the oldest intact wreck to be found in Asia, and is the first 'proof' of direct trade between the western Indian Ocean and China during the first millennium AD.

Indonesia: Excavated an early 15th century Chinese wreck with a cargo of large Thai storage jars, and a small amount of Sukhothai, Sawankhalok, and Longquan ceramics, now known as the Bakau Wreck. Much of the hull survived.

Indonesia: Led a successful side-scan-sonar survey for an 18th century shipwreck lost in the Java Sea.

Indonesia: Investigated 24 shipwrecks across the Archipelago, most brought to light by fishermen's accidental discoveries, but some found through research and magnetometer survey. These included a 14th century wreck off Belitung, an early 18th century wreck in the Thousand Islands, and four late 18th century wrecks in Sulawesi.

Indonesia: Directed the excavation of a 10th century shipwreck in the Java Sea, the oldest Southeast Asian shipwreck (as opposed to hull) to be archaeologically excavated. It is now known as the Intan Wreck. A vast array of artefacts were recovered including approximately 8,000 Chinese ceramics, glass ware, tin and bronze ingots, scrap bronze, Chinese mirrors and coins, bronze religious artefacts, ivory, aromatic resin, grind stones, sharpening stones, bones, a variety of teeth, weighing scales, silver ingots, and gold jewellery.

Indonesia/Singapore/USA: Directed the excavation of 12,000 Chinese Song dynasty ceramics and numerous artefacts from a mid-13th century shipwreck, now known as the Java Sea Wreck. Utilised a 55 m accommodation/dive support barge, with surface decompression on oxygen. The wreck also contained some 200 tonnes of cast and wrought iron, the first evidence that large quantities of Chinese wrought iron were shipped to Southeast Asia.

Malaysia: Carried out magnetometer survey in conjunction with the Malacca Museum Corporation to ascertain whether historically significant shipwreck material lay within areas earmarked for reclamation off Malacca.

Vietnam: Carried out a magnetometer survey for Portuguese and Asian shipwrecks on a remote bank near the island of Phu Qui in the south of Vietnam. Two ancient anchors were located under a metre of coral, however adverse weather conditions and severe geological magnetism precluded full investigation.

Vietnam: Carried out five months of magnetometer survey work on a number of hazardous reefs in the Vietnamese held area of the Spratly Archipelago, locating six pre-20th century wrecks, one of which was the famous tea clipper, Taeping.

Singapore: Mobilised a supply boat and equipment for the excavation of the San Diego, a Spanish galleon that sank in the Philippines in the year 1600 during a battle with the Dutch. The project was carried out by Frank Goddio of World Wide First.

Gulf of Thailand: Maritime Archaeologist for the excavation of an early 16th century Southeast Asian shipwreck fully laden with Thai ceramics, lying 55 m deep in the central Gulf of Thailand. Saturation diving was used for the first time to excavate an ancient wreck site.

Malaysia: Directed a survey to locate an English ship lost in 1817 in the Malacca Straits. Developed specialised side-scan-sonar techniques for pinpointing and investigating targets in an area of high currents and extremely poor visibility. Three historic wrecks were discovered, but it was another three years before the target wreck was finally located.

Vietnam: Directed the excavation of a 17th century Oriental vessel that sank in 35 m of water off the islands of Con Dao in the south of Vietnam, now known as the Vung Tau Wreck. Utilised a 61 m supply boat with surface decompression on oxygen, to recover 48,000 ceramic items, predominately Kangxi blue-and-white porcelain, and several hundred non-ceramic artefacts from the vessel.

Vietnam: Directed a pre-disturbance survey of a 15th century vessel loaded with Thai ceramics, primarily Sawankhalok celadon, that wrecked off the island of Phu Quoc on the west coast of Vietnam.

South China Sea: Carried out extensive magnetometer surveys in the South China Sea locating many wrecks, predominantly Japanese merchant vessels sunk during World War II. Also worked on board a 36 m survey schooner performing magnetometer and side-scan sonar surveys for historic shipwrecks off eastern Africa.

Marianas: Diving Operations Manager and Project Engineer for the excavation of the 1638 Manila Galleon, Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion, in Saipan. Thousands of pieces of intricately worked gold jewellery, porcelain, storage jars, ship's fittings and personal items were recovered over two seasons.

Asia/Africa: Civil engineer involved in projects in Papua New Guinea, Iran, South Africa, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malaysia, and Singapore.

Asia: First Mate and diver aboard a 24 m survey schooner carrying out exploratory dives for shipwrecks between Sri Lanka and the east coast of Thailand.

Australia: Graduated with a First Class Honours Bachelor of Engineering Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Western Australia.

 
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