NOAA goes diving for U-boats in North Carolina

By Catherine Kozak

Deep purple water with streaks of sparkling azure concealed a war grave 110 feet beneath the surface.

A vessel plying the waters off the Outer Banks on Saturday was hunting for what was once the hunter, a German submarine sunk 66 years ago by depth charges dropped by an American bomber.

Divers on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's new 41-foot catamaran were geared up and waiting to descend to survey the U-701, the most intact of discovered U-boats sunk off the North Carolina coast.

Boat captain Chad Smith, NOAA's East Coast vessel coordinator, slowed the catamaran's motor and circled the position above where the wreck lay mostly buried on the ocean floor about 22 miles off Avon.