Melissa Ryan

Famous ship: New search

From Filey Mercury

The US and French navies are to join the latest expedition to search for the remains of one of America's first and most famous warships, sunk off Filey Bay in 1779.

The American-based Ocean Technology Foundation believe it could be their best chance yet to find the Bonhomme Richard as the two navies provide state-of-the-art sonar systems, an oceanographic survey ship, a mine hunter, underwater vehicles and divers.

"This year's survey is a fantastic international partnership on the high seas," said the expedition's project manager Melissa Ryan.

"The Bonhomme Richard is like the proverbial needle in a haystack. But the good news is that the haystack is considerably smaller than it was five years ago when our surveying began."

Previous expeditions have eliminated a 400-square-mile area where the ship was thought to be, while additional historic data and information about how it may have drifted before it sank have refined the search area.

Foundation president Captain Jack Ringelberg said: "This year's mission will be an outstanding effort by one of the most experienced, knowledgeable teams we've ever had."