Views from Inside Pearl Harbor’s USS Arizona
Deep Trekker ROVs Provide Survivor First Live View Inside USS Arizona
This year marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of Pearl Harbor and the sinking of the USS Arizona. Unlike most other ships that were bombed on that fateful day, the steel battleship suffered so much damage that it was never salvaged. The final resting place of over 900 souls, the ship has remained submerged in a shallow harbor of Honolulu.
Working in partnership with the National Parks Service (NPS) Submerged Resources Center, WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument and E-trac, Deep Trekker staff were onsite the USS Arizona memorial to support sonar surveying of the battleship using the larger Deep Trekker ROV, the DTX2. While onsite, the team was asked to perform the first live survey for Donald Stratton and his family who were in attendance.
The Remains of the USS Arizona
The internal structure of the ship is a maze of obstacles, hazards, and very small corridors to maneuver through. As a matter of dignity and respect to those for whom the USS Arizona is a final resting place, and the danger presented by the aging vessel to divers, NPS upholds a policy of no non-official diving and no human diver penetration into the battleship. Although, in order to understand how to best preserve the site, a small underwater drone entered many areas to film in high definition the condition of the vessel. This video was being streamed live to the surface for everyone to experience, including Donald Stratton; a USS Arizona survivor.
“It was absolutely one of the most emotional and touching experiences of my life,” explained Sam Macdonald, President of Deep Trekker Inc., who was piloting the DTG2 ROV for Mr. Stratton and Brett Seymore, deputy chief of the NPS Submerged Resources Center who was providing directions and commentary for the survey. “It was not part of our original plan during our time in Pearl Harbor, and we were extremely honored to have been asked to take part.”
“The phone was there on the desk and the lightbulb was in the socket. It’s just kind of eerie,” said Donald Stratton to Fox News, who was on board the ship on Dec. 7, 1941. “I never thought you could see something like that 75 years later.”
The PBS documentary “Pearl Harbor – Into the Arizona” aired on November 23rd, and will air again on December 7th, to coincide with the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
Can’t wait for the episode to air? Take a look at this sneak peek of the footage taken by Deep Trekker DTG2 within the USS Arizona.
Uncovering Sunken History
“We learned a great deal about the needs of underwater archaeologists at Pearl Harbor and ways we can further push ROV technology to solve the many mysteries of maritime heritage shipwrecks overall,” commented Macdonald. “Simplicity in deployment continues to be one of our cornerstones as we push to bring new technologies to the market that will open up new worlds of discovery in the oceans.”
The USS Arizona is not the first ship that Deep Trekker has explored. The underwater ROV has spent some time off the coast of Lillesand, Norway; searching for the remains of the Rio de Janeiro, a sunken German warship.
Are you looking to investigate internal areas of shipwrecks you can’t reach? Contact Deep Trekker us today to learn how we can help.