In September 1857, during a hurricane 160 miles off the coast of North Carolina, a copper-sheathed paddlewheel ship, the SS Central America, sank in the Atlantic Ocean. It was carrying so much gold on-board that her sinking contributed to the first global financial crisis.
Since April 2014, salvage experts have been retrieving its high-value cargo using the latest ROV and vessel technology.
There’s a lot of work that goes into salvaging shipwrecks. Large crews of scientists, archaeologists and technicians man a mothership that must maintain position in a footprint less than 50cm in extreme water conditions.
Far below the surface, where the pressure is enormous, they employ a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) highly customized for deep-sea shipwreck exploration.
ROVs are controlled from the ship via an umbilical cable. This massive cable contains small fibre-optic cables that carry control instructions to the ROV’s lights, manipulator arms and imagery from the HD cameras.
While the treasures to be uncovered are worth hundreds of millions, the cost to recover these riches is plenty high, too. It’s important that recovery teams use subsea cable equipment that offers security of their highly valuable ROV, bending strain relief and protection against equipment damage in extreme underwater environments.
Using high quality products on dives like this can ultimately make the difference between expensive equipment failure and a success filled with riches.
Read more about the SS Central America here.
As we find our products being used more and more for shipwreck explorations, we were really excited to read about this one nearly in our backyard in Lake Michigan and learning that there are many more to discover.
The bottom of Lake Michigan is literally a graveyard of shipwrecks. Local maritime historians say 1,200 of the 2,000 sunken vessels in Lake Michigan no longer exist because they hit shore and broke apart.
Experts add that about 360 wrecks have been found in the lake’s deeper water, but there are still many wrecks out there that remain undiscovered. Read more…