During the evacuation of Saigon in 1975, refugees boarded Hueys and other helicopters and flew out to sea. Running out of fuel, many landed on USS Kirk and other American destroyers. With only one helipad, the helicopters had to be pushed overboard to make room for the next ones. We are searching for this historic submarine landscape with AUVs to find and document the condition of these aircraft wrecks as a testament to the bravery of both the pilots and the sailors who took on this rescue.
E/V Nautilus made the first dive to the wreck off this World War II aircraft carrier in 2016. USS Independence was scuttled off San Francisco after being part of the nuclear bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. We will be returning in future years with Nautilus and NOAA National Marine Sanctuaries to continue the environmental characterization and site assessment of this wreck.
MAYA LIMESTONE REGIONAL SURVEY
Geological sampling of limestone monuments, quarries, and bedrock at Maya sites in northwestern Belize from 2005-2012 identified some of the monument stone was geochemically different from the bedrock, suggesting it was made of limestone imported to the sites. We are expanding this work and broadening the sampling strategy to identify the range in chemistry in the area and determine the potential distances the Maya may have moved stone resources.
During Huricane Sandy in 2012, the historically-built replica of HMS Bounty sank off Cape Hatteras in >4500 m of water. We are working on finding the wreck to document the formation processes of a wooden shipwreck from ship to shipwreck.