Monday, June 06, 2005

Brit Finds Civil War Submarine Off Panama

Times Online reports on a rather interesting discovery off the coast of Panama. It appears that a British explorer, Colonel John Blashford-Snel, has found the wreck of the USS Explorer, a submarine built in 1864 for the Union during the Civil War.

USS Explorer

The 36-foot long sub never actually saw action in the war, and was subsequently used for pearl diving in Panama. The article states that the sub was the perfect platform for this, as it was equipped with a lockout trunk ( the world's first!) from which divers could enter and exit the vessel.

Blashford-Snell believes that this boat's lockout feature may have actually been part of the inspiration for Jules Verne's fictional Nautilus, the submarine from his novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Neat stuff, indeed. Be sure to check it out.

Cross-posted from The Noonz Wire.

Photo Credit: Torsten Löffler for Der Spiegel

UPDATE: (06/14) Spiegel Online has more photos of the recently discovered USS Explorer here. (Hat tip: The Sub Report)

Also added the link back to the original post at Noonz Wire and inserted one of the Spiegel photos to the post body.


At 11:50 PM, Blogger Rob said...

:) Was the "diver's door" anywhere near the wardroom?



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