The wreck was discovered in April during an expedition for the BOEM funded by NOAA to map the features of poorly known areas of the Gulf, measure gas that leaks naturally from the sea floor, and investigate shipwrecks. Of the estimated 4,000 shipwrecks at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, 600 of them have been discovered by the oil industry. During 29 dives over 56 days, the team used the following equipment from aboard the research ship Okeanos Explorer:
- a remotely-operated vehicle called Little Hercules equipped with lights and high definition cameras
- state-of-the-art multibeam mapping sonar
- telepresence technology to stream live video and allow federal, academic, and private scientists - and “citizen explorers” - to participate in the mission. Fred Gorell, NOAA’s public affairs officer explains, “They could actually look at the wreck sites while it was happening. And this way research is not limited by the number of people who are actually on the ship.”
*I'm not sure I agree with that statement, even though it is also said that only 5% of the ocean floor is mapped.