Re: "The reeeeest of the story...": and more:

Scuba Diving on the Great Escape Southern California Live-Aboard Dive Boat

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Posted by AADIVER on March 15, 2005 at 18:02:09:

In Reply to: Re: "The reeeeest of the story..." posted by AADIVER on March 15, 2005 at 17:55:06:

(August 30, 2004 - 50 miles southeast of Nantucket, MA) Captain Eric Takakjian, of Quest Marine Services Research Vessel Quest, announced today that he and his crew successfully recovered the main signal bell from the Nantucket Lightship from its final resting site in over thirty fathoms of water, fifty miles southeast of Nantucket, MA. The four year old, 133’ long U.S. Lighthouse Service (USLHS) Lightship, LV-117, was moored on station, May 15, 1934, when it was rammed and sunk by the 47,000 ton British White Star luxury liner SS Olympic (sister ship to the Titanic) in a heavy fog, with the loss of 7 of the 11 crewmembers.

After the historic recovery, the captain and crew “tolled the bell” three times in solemn recognition of the crew that perished on this, and all other Lightships that served with the USLHS, precursor to the modern-day U.S. Coast Guard. The bell sounded clear and true as it rang out over the Atlantic swells for the first time in over seventy years.

The salvage also marked the first expedition authorized under the Boston Sea Rovers Expedition Flag Program. The salvage team included Sea Rover members Steve Gatto, Tom Packer, Tom Murray, Dave Morton and Eric Takakjian, and the sixth team member, Steve Scheuer. The Boston Sea Rovers are a group of divers dedicated to raising the level of knowledge of the underwater world. According to Captain Takakjian, “The recovery, and subsequent preservation, restoration, and public display of the LV-117 artifacts at museums will provide immeasurable benefits to the maritime community as a whole, and the sailors and family members of the lightship service in particular, by allowing their story to be told, and experienced, by untold thousands of people who would otherwise never be able to visit a dangerous, deteriorating wreck site deep in the North Atlantic.”

The successful salvage of the 1,200 pound bronze bell was the culmination of a series of offshore expeditions undertaken since 1998. The bell will become the centerpiece of a traveling exhibit to maritime museums to celebrate and honor the men of the USLHS. Other artifacts in the display from the LV-117 will include the helm, telegraph, binnacle, signal light, portholes, photos and video of the wreck site underwater. The final exhibit is expected to be ready for display by the Spring of 2006. In March, 2004, many items for the exhibit were first publicly displayed at the Boston Sea Rovers 50th Annual Clinic.

A historical picture of the LV-117, highlighting the bell on the bow of the ship, can be seen at For further information regarding the history of the Nantucket Lightship, please contact Captain Eric Takakjian, of Quest Marine Services.

Quest Marine Services provides oceanographic and remote sensing services to clients in the North East United States and is involved in shipwreck exploration worldwide. Noted for their ability to locate hard to find underwater targets, Quest has discovered the final resting place of over fifty previously undiscovered shipwrecks.

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