NHHC Underwater Archaeologist to Assist with Deep Sea Exploration

Dr. Robert Neyland, Naval History and Heritage Command Underwater Archaeology Branch Head, along with scientists from NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, the Ocean Exploration Trust, will provide expertise and commentary as USS Bugara is surveyed via a remotely operated vehicle dive from the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus on August 25th, 2017.

Interested in seeing the exploration for yourself? Here’s how can you get involved:

  • You can watch the exploration via livestream here
  • Join a viewing party at two U.S. Navy Museums! Both the United States Naval Undersea Museum and the Submarine Force Museum will host guests in their auditoriums.

USS Bugara (SS 331) was a Balao-class submarine commissioned in November 1944. She conducted three war patrols before the war’s end, including an eventful final patrol where her crew sank 57 small ships in the Gulf of Siam. Bugara earned three battle stars for her World War II service. After the war, Bugara conducted ASW exercises, supported operations during the Korean War, and took part in training and fleet exercises before being decommissioned in October 1970. The following June, while under tow to Naval Base Kitsap, Bugara was swamped and sank accidentally off the coast of Cape Flattery, Washington.

Today, Bugara’s wreckage is located at a depth of approximately 1,000 feet in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Washington State. The site will be explored using an ROV from the surface exploration vessel (E/V) Nautilus. Working aboard E/V Nautilus, scientists will map and explore targets throughout the U.S. West Coast from Canada to Mexico. The live telepresence capabilities of E/V Nautilus will allow scientists from around the world to participate in and contribute to the success of this mission.

The U.S. Navy maintains title and ownership of the ex USS Bugara and provides protection under the Sunken Military Craft Act. USS Bugara is located inside Washington state waters and within the Federally protected waters of NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. Washington State and the National Marine Sanctuary Act extends protection for the archaeological remains of the wreck site.

 

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