Sub's away ! Shipwreck mapping begins

Patrick J. Sullivan - The Leader

The wreck of the SS Governor off Point Wilson in 1921 is a story that has captivated historians, treasure seekers and now, researchers in a submarine.

During narrow tidal windows this week a submarine is being used to map what remains of the 417-foot passenger liner, which rests on its keel 240 feet beneath Admiralty Inlet's shipping lanes.

Dives are planned in the 15-foot submarine Wednesday through Sunday, June 22-26, said Joel Perry, vice president of expeditions for OceanGate.

Unlike previous expeditions in which divers were after the ship's safe – rumored to contain gold – the OceanGate goal is educational (as first reported in our May 18 issue). The sub Antipodes does not have a manipulator arm, so nothing can be retrieved – except information.

"There is only 20-30 feet of visibility so it's hard for a diver to get the scope of the whole wreck," Perry said Tuesday. "We're going to do multiple 2D and 3D scans of the wreck. Our hope is to scan about half of the wreck in 3D."

OceanGate, based in Everett, Wash., organizes expeditions primarily to benefit university-based deep ocean researchers.

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