Posted by Kevin on January 24, 2001 at 16:39:52:
From today's LA Times:
Through a hole in the ballast tank, scientists began cleaning silt out of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley--the first step toward exploring the vessel and removing the remains of its nine-man crew.
The Hunley, the first submarine to sink an enemy ship, rammed a black-powder charge into the Union ship Housatonic off nearby Sullivans Island on Feb. 17, 1864. The Housatonic sank, but so did the submarine, which was fashioned from locomotive boilers.
The Hunley was raised last August and has since rested in a tank of cold water at the former Charleston, S.C., Navy base. On Tuesday, the water level was lowered and the scientists were suspended alongside the sub to do their work.
It will take about a week to remove sediment from the ballast tank. Scientists then will have a better idea of how the hand-cranked sub is put together, a spokeswoman said.
Hmmmm. A sure win in next years wreck diver competition for rare !
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