Explosions and water – a story of camera survivability

The shots of the explosions and sinking of the warship Afonso Cerqueira to create a new artificial reef have generated quite a lot of interest. This is one of my favourite sequences.

We had been filming on the bridge the day before the operation and it was chosen as a prime location for one of the dozen Go Pro cameras fitted around the vessel. Most of the cameras survived and were retrieved by the Portuguese navy divers soon after the ship had been sunk. Incredibly, the divers also recovered the watch of Chris Smith from CEUK. It came off as he clambered on board. At one point I thought I was going to join his watch as I inelegantly climbed up the rope ladder.

This is not a promotion for Go Pros, but – given their relatively cheap cost – they are an amazing and robust bit of kit. As well as the job for CEUK, we’ve been able to gather some stunning material for clients over the years. This, for example, was from a test of a new type of munition. The camera was in a far better condition than the car after the explosion.