2001 S-5 Photos I

All images on this page 2001 by Christina Young.

Welcome to the private dive boat Independence, a 33-foot BHM that cruises up to 25 knots.  This boat is especially outfitted for deep wreck diving expeditions far offshore.

The S-5 is a U.S. Navy submarine sunk in 1920 when she submerged with her main induction and hull valves still open, flooding the vessel.  With quick thinking, the crew was able to bring the stern to the surface by pumping out ballast and fuel.  They were then spotted by two passing ships and rescued by cutting a hole in the stern.  Two excellent accounts of the sinking of the S-5 and subsequent attempts at recovery can be found in Gary Gentile's Shipwrecks of Delaware and Maryland, and Mud, Muscle, and Miracles: Marine Salvage in the United States Navy by Capt. C.A. Bartholomew, USN, respectively.  The S-5 now sits in 160 feet of water approximately 35 miles southeast of Cape May, New Jersey.

The following pictures (all images from video) are from the voyage of the Independence to the S-5 on Monday, July 16, 2001.

Here's the gang as we head out of Cape May, New Jersey on a Monday morning.  It's Jennifer Roy, Bart Malone, Dennis O'Brian and Bill Dixon.
Paul Whittaker prepares to jump in and set the hook.  It took us only three minutes to hook the wreck, which is pretty good for a submarine, which is essential just a tube without a lot of places for a hook to catch.  Paul finds that we hooked the conning tower on the first pass.
Jennifer Roy gears up to do her dive.
Steve Lovas assists Bart Malone.
This is the Chinese shrine gear box.  I think it is also booby-trapped; I was poked by sharp things like hack saws and crow bars every time I went near it.  Ouch!  ;-)
Descending to the wreck, I see a picture-perfect submarine on the bottom!  The thermo cline was incredible - it was 41 degrees Fahrenheit at the bottom, and 75 degrees at the 20 foot stop.  So we were freezing on the bottom and at the lower stops, then sweating at the shallow ones!
A close-up of the gorgeous conning tower.
Swimming forward.  There are huge holes in the outer hull. The pressure hull is still intact.
A view of the damaged bow.
Another piece of the bow.
Looking down at the sub's forward diving planes.
Looking aft from the bow.

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