Four Subs

Immerse yourself in World War II history and join a research team exploring the wrecks of four historic submarines

HISTORY IN ACTION 

JOIN A UNIQUE PROJECT TO DOCUMENT FOUR HISTORIC SUBMARINE WRECKS

Help support preservation of these important pieces of maritime History 

This is an exclusive opportunity to see the evolution of underwater naval warfare in a way few others understand.

Your dive will help experts from the University of Rhode Island preserve this rich history for generations to come. Dr. Rod Mather is working with a team of researchers to submit four submarines to the National Register of Historic Places. Your support will directly impact the way we learn about an important chapter of U.S. history.

During your mission, you will be able to dive the wrecks of three U.S. submarines and one Nazi Germany U-boat with Dr. Mather’s research team to see history come alive off the coast of Rhode Island.

U853-hires

All dives will be conducted using OceanGate, Inc.’s manned submersible, Cyclops 1, its launch platform, and support vessels. Cyclops 1 is a five-person manned submersible operated under a letter of approval from the US Coast Guard as an Oceanographic Research Vessel.

[The Rhode Island submarines] demonstrate the emergence of U.S. undersea technology and Rhode Island’s role in submarine warfare… Now that we have this [synthetic aperture sonar] imagery, it may be worthwhile doing a more detailed archaeological investigation of the sites. It might also be possible to nominate them for the National Register of Historic Places.”

– Prof. Rod Mather, URI-AHL Archaeologist.  

This is an exclusive opportunity to see the evolution of underwater naval warfare in a way few others understand

Your dive will help experts from the University of Rhode Island preserve this rich history for generations to come. Dr. Rod Mather is working with a team of researchers to submit these four submarines to the National Register of Historic Places and your support would directly impact the way we learn about an important chapter of U.S. military history.

PRE & POST DIVE BRIEF

During the pre-dive brief, your Mission Director will review dive objective and important safety information. Immediately following the dive, participate in a post-dive brief to recap discoveries, observations, and your overall experience.

TOW OUT AND TRANSFERS

The submersible will be towed out to the dive site via OceanGate's primary topside support vessel. The dive crew will be transferred to the dive site in our high-speed transfer vessel, Vito.

LAUNCH AND RECOVERY

All Cyclops class subs are launched and retrieved using a patented launch and recovery platform. Operated similarly to a ship dry dock, the integrated unit is submerged to a depth of 7 - 10 meters where the pilot can fly the sub on and off without interference from the surface turbulence.

THE DIVE

Each dive will explore one of four sites including the USS-L8, USS BASS, USS G-1 and U-853 submarines. The dive team will spend time exploring and documenting each wreck with high-definition cameras and 3D sonar to capture a digital record of its condition. Teams will also document the marine biology in the area and the use of these wrecks as artificial reefs.

Each submarine has a storied history of its own

USSL-8

USS L-8

The submarine worked in tandem with a four-masted limber schooner, Charles Whittmore, during the waning months of WWI to combat unrestricted submarine warfare in U.S. waters. After the war, the U.S. Navy used the L-8 in a top-secret program to develop an advanced type of torpedo detonation device and used the submarine as a test target. It was sunk in Narragansett Bay on May 26, 1926. The tests were the only two live firings of the magnetic influence exploder before WWII.

USS BASS

USS Bass

The submarine cruised all over the Atlantic and Pacific oceans before the start of WII. The sub made four war patrols in the Pacific until a fire broke out at sea in August 1942; it returned home to Philadelphia Navy Yard for repairs. In December 1943, the submarine conducted several secret experiments off of Block Island and continued to operate in the area until it was used to test a new type of torpedo. It was sunk on March 12, 1945, off the coast of Rhode Island.

USSG1

USS G-1

This submarine made the deepest dive for a U.S. Navy vessel at the time and dove to a depth of 256 feet. Although it did not perform well in heavy seas, the sub was used for experimental purposes and to train new submariners at the New London Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut. The Navy used the sub as an experimental target to test eight depth charge attacks in 1921 and it sank off the coast of Rhode Island.

U853-blackpoint

U-853

This U-boat fired one of the last shots of WWII; it’s unclear if its commander ignored ceasefire orders from the Nazi regime or they never reached him. It fired on the U.S. merchant ship the Black Point off the coast of Point Judith, Rhode Island and killed 12 men on board. American forces began hunting for the U-boat and found it lurking in the area 90 minutes after the Black Point sank. The submarine now lies near the former Newport Torpedo Station which developed the underwater technology used to destroy it. Divers first visited the wreck a few hours after it sank and confirmed that the hull had been breached and the remains of many deceased German submariners were still on board.

“There are a lot of ideas about the submarines out there and not all of them are accurate,” said Dr. Rod Mather about the project. “We want to go out there, to see the wrecks with our own eyes and to share the real stories about what happened.”

Join us this fall and see what your dive team will discover

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