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The German deep sea research vessel SONNE (8554grt/2350dwt/IMO 9633927), launched in April 2014, outbound from Auckland following a short 3-day stop-over in port. She is owned by the German Government and managed by Briese Schiffahrts & Co of Leer, Germany. Built by Meyer Werft of Papenburg, the116m SONNE cost approximately �124m and is a replacement for the previous 1969-built SONNE which visited Auckland a number of times over the years. The new vessel is the flagship of the German research vessel fleet and operates mainly in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. SONNE, with 35 crew and up to 40 scientists, is a multipurpose working platform for marine and related disciplines: physical and biological oceanography, marine geology, marine and atmospheric chemistry, marine geophysics and meteorology and her submersibles and other deep-sea equipment can be deployed at depths up to 12,000m. (Wikipedia). 1 May 2016. Photo by © 2016

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