Remote Diving Explore Some Extremely Deep Wrecks


Copper sheathing on the hull of the Monterrey A wreck. Photo: BOEM  Archaeology Museum

It's the perfect time to enjoy some virtual diving – fancy seeing some remarkable wrecks in the Gulf of Mexico?

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in the US recently opened a Virtual Archaeology Museum, which displays video, detailed three-dimensional models, and mosaic maps of shipwrecks from the 19th and 20th centuries.

The wrecks were discovered during oil and gas exploration in the area and are at depths far below we can reach without a submarine. 

Using the latest mapping and modelling technology BOEM, which manages all submerged resources on the continental shelf around the US, has created a unique museum where you can explore these wrecks at your leisure.

Here's a couple of examples:

15377 Shipwreck

With its wooden hull sheathed in copper sheets as protection against marine organisms and three towering masts carrying full sail, this large 30m-long (100 ft) ship would have been a magnificent sight before it met its tragic end sometime around the middle of the 19th century in the Gulf of Mexico.


The largest of the three 'Monterrey' shipwrecks that sank near each other. These wrecks lay almost 200 miles from land and maybe sank during the same storm. Monterrey C was by far the most damaged from hitting the seafloor and came to rest in more than 1,200m (4,000 ft) of seawater.

Mike Celata, BOEM Gulf of Mexico Regional Director, said: 'With  ROVs we can clearly examine the artefacts in these shipwrecks up close, in thousands of feet of water. Through the use of the 3D models, we can see each shipwreck site as a whole and monitor changes to it over time. The Virtual Archaeology Museum will serve as a valuable teaching asset in both school and university classrooms, and the data collected will be a focal point for underwater researchers, its online presence allowing collaboration worldwide.'

To see more go to the BOEM Virtual Archaeology Museum



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