what started out as a normal day for us turned into a bizarre find! One of our shrimper clients called us from offshore one morning and explained that during the middle of the night, he had hung his nets on something "BIG" and could not break free from the entanglement. Apparently he had been a few miles offshore and had hung his huge trawling nets and was unable to retrieve them or even back his boat off of the entanglement.
Shrimpers call these entanglement hazards "hangs," and there are many things that can create them... Underwater rocks, old shipwrecks, sunken trees, or anything else that could ensnare a net and create a problem for a hard-working shrimpboat captain.
With the local waters having been fished and shrimped for generations, most "hangs" are well-documented and well-known by all commercial fishermen and shrimpers. In an effort to prevent offshore disasters and expensive damage, most professional fishermen and shrimpers share "hang numbers" in order to pool knowlege and avoid hazards.
In short, this shrimper had "hung" in an area that had no "hangs" - no expected hazards in the area. The oddest thing, though, was that he was uable to free his nets by reversing the engines or pulling on the nets with the boat's powerful winches.
DEEP SOUTH DIVERS deployed it's small, fast response vessel and sped to the hang site, just a few miles offshore, near the mouth of the St. Helena Sound. However, before we arrived, the captain called again and explained that it appeared that he was able to break his nets free from the hang. He further explained that he was still unable to pull his nets up and out of the water, and that he felt that whatever had hung him on the bottom was still in the nets! He was able to move, however, so his plan was to drag whatever he had back to port and deal with whatever was in his nets at the dock, where a powerful crane would be able to hoist his nets out of the water.
DEEP SOUTH DIVERS met the shrimper at the dock, and after an hour or two of work cutting, disentangling and hoisting, ended up with this on the dock:
After many telephone calls to Ashley Deming of the South Carolina Sport Diver Archaeology Management Program, it was decided that this anchor - measuring more than 9 feet long - had likely come from a large ship between the years of 1840 and 1875, based on it's design. It's size implies that a ship needing an anchor this large would be a few hundred feet in length at the least. As such, we theorize that it likely came from a Union warship during the Civil War circa 1862-1865. Additional support lending creedence to the theory is the fact that the area where the anchor was found was a common anchorage for the Union Navy during the Battle of Port Royal and attacks and blockades on Charleston. We believe this anchor far too large for merchant or Confederate vessels of the time, although there were a few large passengerliners of the time that could have had an anchor like this. Perhaps we will never know - but our best guess is that it came from a Union warship.
The area around the anchor has been thoroughly sidescanned for remnants of a shipwreck or other debris, but no additional anomalies exist. Given the short length of chain connected to the anchor, we believe that the anchor was lost as the boat connected to it broke the chain... Broke free and became adrift. We feel it unlikely that the anchor was purposely cut free due to entanglement.
DEEP SOUTH DIVERS Explores the City of Savannah
Around here, the "Hurricane of 1893" is a significant part of our history. The incredible storm devistated a good portion of our small town, and flooded every local island, combined known as the "Sea Islands." As many as 12,000 local residents were killed, mostly from rising floodwaters and storm surge. At one point, it is said, all of the tomato, cotton, rice, and indigo plantations were totally submerged. Stories abound of finding dead bodies in the treetops for years after the hurricane.
This massive storm grounded and sank many ships as well - some not even from the area, but passing by on their way to larger ports like Boston, Savannah, Charleston and Philadelphia. Such was the case of the vessel known as a the City of Savannah, one of a fleet of three ships named after common shipping ports.
According to the book Sea Island Storm of 1893 By Bill Marscher and Fran Marscherthe:
As the hurricane traveled westward across the Atlantic, the 272 foot steamship City of Savannah had left Boston for Savannah on Thursday, August 24th,  with Captain George Savage in command. She had about thirty people onboard, including two children and crew, and medium sized cargo. Starting out in a gale, the ship reached heavy seas from the southeast off Cape Hatteras Saturday and by three o'clock Sunday afternoon just off of the coast of Charleston was thrashing about in the teeth of the storm.
She lost her power, began to take water into the engine room and started drifting in the rough seas. By early Monday morning, she had been driven onto a sand shoal about 3 miles off Beaufort County's Fripp Island. As the passengers huddled together on the starboard [right] side, she began to take on water, and the waves demolished the saloon and gutted the cabins. The passengers and the crew spent Monday night lashed in the rigging. "The waves dashed over them and death was expected at any moment." (Morning News, August 31, 1893)
On Tuesday morning, Captain Savage sent two lifeboats to St. Helena Island, carrying the City of Savannah's women and children and two ship's officers to safe quarters there. Three riverboat pilots from Beaufort - John O'Brien, William VonHarten [yes, the same VonHartens as the modern Beaufort residents], and John L. Mack - tried to stage a rescue using a tug with a 10-foot draft. Just as they realized the water was so shallow they could not reach the grounded ship, they saw the steamship City of Birmingham [one of the City of Savannah's sister ships] on the horizon and hoped she would be able to save the endangered crew and passengers.
At about six o'clock Tuesday night the City of Birmingham anchored nearby. The water was too rough to attempt a rescue at that time, however, so the remaining passengers and crew spent another night lashed to the rigging with nothing to drink and only raw turnips to eat. At daybreak Wednesday, crews from the Birmingham began the rescue in earnest, and by noon, "those who had stared death in the face for thirty-six hours were safe aboard the Birmingham." Nearly crazed with thirst and dehydration, they asked first for water. Soon, they also had a meal - their first since mid-day Sunday. Captain Savage, the last man off the ship, carried a cat with one blue eye and one brown eye with him as he walked ashore.
After the Birmingham delivered them to Savannah, the captain slept a few hours before going to St. Helena Island in a tugboat to get the rest of his passengers and two crewmembers. On Friday morning, when the tug delivered the captain, the women, and the children to Savannah, a crowd of 1,000 Savannahians applauded and cheered from the bluff overlooking the Savannah River.
After the Great Sea Island Storm of 1893, the grandeur of the City of Savannah was no more. Attempts to salvage her failed. In a few years, she came to be called "The Wreck," a favorite fishing drop. Today sea bass and sheepshead feed on the barnacles that plaster her boilers, the only relics left of the once proud ship.
The wreck of the City of Savannah sits in a less-traveled area of our local waters, several miles and many treacherous shoals and shallows from any port, marina, or boat landing. As such, and despite it's well-documented history, its location had not been commonly known. The wreck is featured in Gary Gentile's book Shipwrecks of South Carolina and Georgia, which is considered to be a respected source of concrete information on local shipwrecks. However, the entry about the City of Savannah fails to pinpoint the wreck's location. Thus, DEEP SOUTH DIVERS contacted Gary Gentile and asked about specific location.
Gary is a well-publicized expert on shipwrecks, and considered by many to be a pioneering forefather of trimix - a technologically advanced breathing gas for deep diving. However, Gary professed to not know exact coordinates or even the ship's approximate location.
That's when DEEP SOUTH DIVERS contacted Robert Gecy of Humminbird Side Imaging Forums. Robert - or "Bobby" as he is known to us - knew of the wreck's location and took us there.
When we arrived at the wreck's location, this is what we saw:
The item sticking above the waterline at low tide is the ship's quadrant. This is a pie-shaped device welded to the top of the ship's rudder shaft. It normally sits within the bowels of the ship, directly above the ship's rudder, and is attached to a chain on either side of the quadrant. When the captain turns the steering wheel, the chains are pulled one way or the other, puling the quadrant in one direction or the other, which effectively changes the angle of the rudder. Now that the wreck has completely collapsed, the rudder and rudder shaft have supported the quadrant in such a way as to expose the entire quadrant at low tide.
More photographs of the ship's steering mechanism:
Additionally, Bobby made several sidescan images with his Humminbird scanning system. These are our favorite images of the wreck:
DEEP SOUTH DIVERS Finds Sunk Boat
we recieved a phone call from a shrimp boat captain that had a problem: He had shrimped all day, then anchored his small vessel (this one an unusually small 30-footer) in the Port Royal Sound, right outside of Skull Creek, near the northwestern tip of Hilton Head Island. He had had a particularly good catch and decided to bed down for the night onboard so that he could get a very early start the next morning.
Sometime during the middle of the night, his boat became swamped and it began to sink. He awoke when the water sloshed up against his cot and wet his face. The boat was already too swamped to pump out, and it went down, right at anchor, at about 4am. The captain swam for another nearby boat, and was rescued.
He asked us to locate the boat and salvage it. He had a general idea of where to look, but no coordinates, since the boat's electronics - and it's data - had gone down with the vessel.
It took us two days of work - separated by about a week for a passing hurricane, making weather an issue - to locate the sunk boat. We used his first-hand account, the neighboring boat's approximate coordinates, and our advanced, WAAS-enabled LOWRANCE side scan unit. Here's what we saw when we finally passed over the vessel during our "mow the lawn" searches:
Keep in mind that this is a birds-eye view of the vessel sitting on the bottom of the Port Royal Sound... Basically, a two-dimensional image, looking straight down as if you were floating on the top of the water like a snorkeler. Side scanning sonar uses sound waves to create this image, since the water was too murky to allow light to pass through. When looking at this image, know that side scan sonar "lights up" an image from the side... Creating a shadow effect on the seabed that stretches outward (to the right in this case) from the sunk vessel. We use this to "read" how tall something is, and what shape it is. Here's a closer look:
Notice the overall shape of the vessel - basically set on the bottom in such a way that the stern (rear) of the vessel points toward the top left of the image, while the bow (front) of the vessel points toward the bottom right. The whiteish thing sticking off of the vessel's stern (what we call a "hard return" - a very bright echo of sound) is the boat's outdrive (propeller and steering mechanisms). From the vessel's shadow it can be deduced that there is a large boxlike structure on the stern (a steel frame used to lift and haul nets full of shrimp) and an enclosure (the wheelhouse) near the bow. In fact, the bow pulpit (like a plank sticking off the bow's point, where an anchor is held) is actually visible in the shadow.
LOWRANCE side scan sonar (they call it "StructureScan") allows us to create a unique view of this vessel as it might appear if you viewed it from the bottom... That is, if you were diving and laying on the bottom, looking forward at the vessel. This viewpoint might be more familiar to those who are accustomed to seeing traditional "depth sounders" or "fish finders" - a side view rather than a top-down view:
The "box" on the stern of the vessel (right side, above) is even more discernable in this image. The "cloud" surrounding the bow (left side) is a school of fish that had already made this wreck their home.
After pricing the job and giving a bid to the sunk vessel's captain, he elected not to raise it, even though it was possible and we cut our prices as low as we could go. He did, however, elect to have us salvage all things of value off of his boat: The nets, tools, electronics, personal artifacts, etc., which he valued at about $3,000 (the majority of which was the cost of the nets). He has since purchased a new vessel (which cost about the same as our bid to raise his old one) and is shrimping today.
Today the old boat is quickly becoming a new artificial reef, and has attracted a ton of sea life.
Clarendon Plantation Uses DEEP SOUTH DIVERS
we first heard about BIG WILLIE, Clarendon Plantation's pushboat and landing barge combination when we got a telephone call from the plantation's manager. He explained that the pushboat's engine overheated easily, and that she needed to have her keel cooler defouled. We did a fantastic job, of course, and in fact cleaned the entire pushboat's bottom... To include the propellers ("wheels"), her triple rudders, and unique keel cooler. In fact, we weren't even sure that what we were looking at was a keel cooler, since it was so unique. It didn't matter, of course - we simply cleaned everything and made her "slick and quick" as we say in the business.
Less than a week later, the manager called us again and explained that while our cleaning had helped her be smoother and more efficient, and even dropped her engine temperature by about ten degrees, it didn't completely solve her overheating problem. That's when we began to look further into the problem.
It seemed that the ten year old BIG WILLIE was already on her third engine! The previous two had actually overheated to the point of no repair, and each engine replacement had cost the plantation upwards of ten or twenty thousand dollars. Thus, we coordinated with the plantation to bring in a diesel expert to consider repairs or alterations to the boat - for example, if the coolant was blocked within the keel cooler, if the pumps were insufficient at pumping coolant, if the barge was actually blocking water from properly flowing over the coolers, or even if the cooler design itself was flawed and unable to sufficiently cool the boat's massive motor.
In order to communicate the design of the unique and custom box-steel cooler (most keel coolers are made of copper tubing), an underwater sketch was made of the vessel's hull. The local low-visibility waters made this a particularly unique challenge, and our divers had to view and sketch one square foot of the boat at a time. Underwater cameras were useless in the muck.
Below is a compilation of the sketches, complete with measurements, provided to the diesel expert, the plantation manager, and ourselves:
Eventually, the BIG WILLIE was hauled out and additional "wings" were added to the cooler on each side so that it no longer resembled a "W" in shape but instead an "MM" in shape. This additional cooler square footage was exactly what she needed... Today she runs cool and dry and powerfully, with the overheating problem permenantly solved. This could not have been accomplished without the inch-by-inch study and sketch performed by DEEP SOUTH DIVERS!
DEEP SOUTH DIVERS Encourages a Friend
Good friends of the company have a grandson named Alex. Today he’d be 12, but when he was 7, we had the chance to meet him.
Alex thought that diving was the coolest thing ever, and his love for the ocean poured out to us and he began asking questions about diving. We get that a lot – when children see us in our gear and wetsuits they’re rarely shy about asking questions, and it’s a wonderful thing to be able to watch a love for the ocean and a desire to dive spawn right then and there.
Well, a few months went by, and Alex’s mom wrote to thank us for taking the time out of our busy schedules to talk to him about diving. Apparently he hadn't stopped talking about it! In fact, she even included a picture that he had drawn - a DEEP SOUTH DIVER, complete with a Rebel Dive Flag on his shirt, diving with a huge shark! What an imgagination he had!
Here is what SeaJay Bayne, the owner of DEEP SOUTH DIVERS, wrote back to Alex and his mom:
I’ve been meaning to sit down and write you back for the past month or so – I have been so busy diving; things have been crazy!
I wanted to write and tell you how much your card meant to me. It’s been sitting on my refrigerator since I got it, and everyone who comes over to my house sees it and thinks it’s the coolest card ever. When I tell them that my friend Alex made it for me and that you’re seven (maybe eight now?), they can’t believe it. You did a really great job!
I think it’s so cool that you are interested in diving. The underwater world is full of wonderful and sometimes scary things, and even fantastic career opportunities when you get to be an adult. There is a series of movies put out by the Discovery Channel called Seas of Life that your Mom or Dad could probably rent for you from your local Blockbuster – there’s really cool stuff in there, even stuff about sharks! I also have a bunch of movies in my collection that are less educational and a lot more drama – and I recommend those if you want to watch really cool movies about being underwater. There is, of course, Finding Nemo (my favorite Disney animation – it is so funny!), The Abyss, Leviathan, and Sphere. These are more like grown-up movies, and not always really accurate, but great stories and a lot of fun to watch. Ask your parents if those movies would be okay to watch, and then check them out! Also I love Titanic and recommend it if you haven’t ever seen it. There’s older movies, too, but those are my favorites! If you can’t go diving yet, then you’ve got to watch these movies!
You asked me in the card you sent me if I’ve ever seen a Great White shark. Well, I haven’t seen one underwater, thank goodness! I have seen them only on T.V. and in pictures, but I’ve seen a lot of different kinds of sharks like Black Tips, White Tips, Reef Sharks, Bull Sharks, Tiger Sharks, Nurse Sharks, and more. Only two of these are dangerous – do you know which ones they are?
Of course, all sharks can bite, just like all dogs can bite – but generally they don’t if you don’t mess with them. Which of the two above will bite even if you leave them alone?
Remember, though, that when you’re diving, the real danger isn’t the sharks – the real danger is in diving if it’s not done correctly. That’s why learning to dive the right way is so important. I hope that you’ll stick with your desire to dive as you get older.
I am sending you some things that I found on the bottom of the river. I think you’ll like them very much! You can keep them, if you promise to put them someplace where they’ll be safe. Remember if you drop them they will probably shatter, so be very careful with them! Two of them are shark’s teeth – the smaller one is in really good shape, but the bigger one came from a bigger shark. Both of the teeth came from a shark called a “Megalodon,” which we divers just call a “meg.” This kind of shark is now extinct, like the dinosaurs. These teeth are about 20 million years old – which is really, really, really, really old… About half as old as dinosaur bones. The smaller tooth would have come from a meg about 30 feet long, and the bigger one would have come from a meg about 45 or 50 feet long. That’s huge! The very biggest Great Whites are only about 24 feet long – a meg would have been twice that length! Do you know what the biggest shark in the world is today? I’ll give you a hint – they can’t eat people, and you can actually see two of them in the aquarium in Atlanta. They are not only the biggest sharks in the world, but are the biggest fish in the ocean (whales don’t count because they’re not fish – they’re mammals).
The other thing I’m sending you is the inner ear bone of a sperm whale, the food of a meg. These teeth and this ear bone were found in the same spot, so these teeth probably were lost by the meg when he was eating this whale. Scary, hunh?
I’m also sending you a write-up that I wrote once for a friend of mine who bought a very large and very nice meg tooth. He wanted to display the tooth in a special glass box on the wall, and wanted something to tell people all about a meg. You may have to have your Mom or Dad read it to you, but it’s really cool and tells you a lot about the teeth and what it’s like diving for these teeth.
I really enjoyed talking with you that evening about diving. If you come to Beaufort this summer, you can come over to my house – I have a new house with a pool, and I can maybe let you breathe on a tank underwater so that you can see what it’s like to dive. I have a mini-tank, too, so maybe we can set you up to try it. You’ll have to ask your Mom and Dad if that’s okay, even if only for a few minutes.
Keep thinking about diving, my friend. The ocean isn’t going to go away, and it will still be there when you’re an old man – so all you have to do to be able to dive is not stop thinking about it.
Your Dive Buddy,
Lew “SeaJay” Bayne
Deep South Divers
Click here for a downloadable copy of this letter on DEEP SOUTH DIVERS letterhead. (Microsoft Word document.)
That summer we invited Alex over to our pool and set him up with a miniature diving rig that included a tiny 13 cuft scuba bottle, a regulator, and a mask. With a little instruction and a lot of supervision, he descended into the mysterious depths of our 5’ deep pool with us.
Alex’s life was changed forever. You could just see it in his eyes. He became speechless. Truly, a love for the water was borne. Well… Okay… We think it was already there. Let’s say that a love for the water was encouraged!
Parents, we absolutely encourage you to cultivate your child's interest in the ocean. Make sure that you get them into a scholastic program where their love for the water can grow. Who knows? Your child may end up becoming a NOAA scientist or an esteemed oceanographer or a marine biologist - or even a commercial diver!
DEEP SOUTH DIVERS Explores the Betsy Ross
In the mid-1970’s, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources obtained a massive ship from the US Navy “boneyard” in Norfolk, Virginia. She was more than 441 feet long, and saw service in World War II as a supply ship. Shortly after the War she was decommissioned and sent to Norfolk, where she had been sitting for over 30 years.
SCDNR sank her about 15 miles from the entrance to the Port Royal Sound – right here in Beaufort, SC – to begin the creation of an artificial reef where SC residents and visitors could fish and dive the clear waters bordering the Gulf Stream. For nearly 30 years she had the enviable title of the “largest boat ever sunk as an artificial reef” – until the 510-foot Spiegel Grove was sunk in 2002 off of Key Largo.
The Betsy Ross makes for a positively awesome dive site – after all, she’s been down there nearly 40 years, and that has attracted a ton of corals, sponges, and marine life…. In some cases, generations of marine life. She is teeming with spadefish, sheepshead, black sea bass, amber jack, jack crevalle, redfish, red snapper, flounder, sharks, stingrays, nudibranchs, and more. Diving on the Betsy Ross is truly a diver’s dream… And a surprisingly unusual treat: Divers are so rare here that the marine life is still unafraid of them. The resident Loggerhead sea turtle (we call him or her “Herman”) often swims by to socialize with divers. We have taken a good bit of video on the deck of the boat, which rests at a mere 68 feet of depth (max depth to sand is 112 feet). Some of this video can be seen here:
…But what really makes the ‘Ross special is her history. For years not much was known about her, other than the fact that she was a WWII supply vessel in the South Pacific. When this website was begun in 2001, we created a special page for her where we could post pictures and videos taken from her submerged decks. Because there was no historical information about her available online at the time, we publicly asked about her history and invited people to write us and share with us what they knew about the Betsy Ross. Years went by and… We got a fascinating email one day.
The author’s name was Lee Bergfeld, and he was one of a few surviving souls that had served on the Betsy Ross during World War II. He explained that the ship had once shot down a Japanese bomber and had taken fire in more than one battle with enemy Japanese in the Pacific theater during the War. He explained to us her importance during the Battle of Bougainville, her role in the Solomon Islands, and how one of his shipmates had lost a hand during a docking exercise. Lee explained that not many people who had served on the ‘Ross (he called her Coca-Cola because of her “CC” designation as the Cor Caroli during wartime) were still alive, and sent us a copy of the ship’s log… As well as other fascinating historical documents that tell her story. He asked us to share her history. He asked us to not forget. He asked us to know what she was and what she meant to people as we hovered through her passageways on the bottom of the North Atlantic.
In an effort to recreate the significance and drama of life on the 'Ross during WWII, we wrote this article (Microsoft Word document) for a local Beaufort, SC news publication related to the Beaufort Sportfish and Dive Club. Lee wasn't happy with it, though, when we forwarded a copy to him. His issue with the article was that it wrongly overdramatized his position and credited him with the actual kill of the enemy plane. In reality, all crew as a whole were credited... Not only because of the fact that there were many guns firing (no telling who actually had the "kill shot"), but because every crew member played an important role in the ship's survival. No one person, therefore, could be rightly credited with any one accomplishment. In fact, Lee couldn't even remember whether or not he was manning a gun at the time of the plane downing. After all, it had been more than 50 years since the event. Nonetheless, Lee was the only character we knew aboard the vessel, and so he was singled out for the story - in all fairness, inappropriately. Our apologies to Lee for the inaccuracies, but the story brings forth the drama of the event as best as we can duplicate. Consider the story similar to the hit TV show Baa Baa Black Sheep from the 1970's... A short drama based on real life events, and historically accurate as a whole, even if overdramatized on an individual basis for the sake of reader interest. We all know that Pappy Boyington didn't really look like this and that the show Baa Baa Black Sheep was really an overdramatized and fictional account of real events based on true stories. This account of events aboard the Betsy Ross in this article, therefore, should be regarded similarly. The reader is cautioned to consider this article as one historically overdramatized, based on true events... Not a historically factual account of events.
Over the next few weeks we will incorporate some of Lee's actual documentation into this website. For now, the best references we can point to are the ‘Ross’ Wikipedia entry and the NavSource Online entry, which have recently become available and give a lot of facts about the massive ship… As well as photographs of what she looked like before she was sunk.
Meanwhile, we have found a photograph taken by the SCDNR during her sinking in 1978. Notice the 30-foot vessel beside her:
Famous Boats Seek DEEP SOUTH DIVERS
You may know the television show SWORDS – a reality show about “longline boats" that hunt swordfish in the North Atlantic. Or you might have seen the movie A Perfect Storm with Mark Wahlberg and George Clooney. What do the movie and the TV show have in common? The Eye Fleet of course!
Longline swordfishing is a unique style of making a living from the ocean. Rather than trap swordfish like you might do with shrimp - in a net - or crab and lobster - in a trap - swordfishing boats put out a long, thick line of monofilament (nearly ¼” in diameter) for many miles. Every 10 or 15 feet there is an attached “leader" line that’s 10 or 12 feet long with a large, baited hook on the end. Think of it as fishing on steroids!
This longline is set and then the boat goes back to the beginning and reels it in, with MONSTER fish on the hooks… Some of them weighing half a ton or more! The idea is to catch the expensive meat of swordfish, but other big pelagics can be caught too… Like bluefin or yellowfin tuna, mahi-mahi, marlin, and sailfish. In some cases, just ONE of these fish can have a retail value of over $8k!
…Which is really good – ‘cause a longliner vessel may travel from the tip of Nova Scotia – the “Flemish Cap” of A Perfect Storm fame – to Puerto Rico to get “on the fish.”
…Which is why Port Royal, South Carolina makes so much sense… And why they come here to refuel, restock, and unload their amazing catch. Well... That, and because they want DEEP SOUTH DIVERS to work on their boats!
The Eye Fleet – Eagle Eye, Eagle Eye II, and Eyelander – along with the sister ship Sea Hawk – are here regularly… And choose DEEP SOUTH DIVERS to perform their submerged maintenance. Here's some video of us working on them:
This is the same Eye Fleet featured in the TV series SWORDS. This is the same fleet featured in the movie The Perfect Storm – talk to any of the captains and he will tell you what it was like to live the reality from which that movie was made.
We love the Eye Fleet – they use us to keep their sea chests clear, their propellers polished, and most of all – any stray monofilament (“mono”) from wrapping around their props and walking up the prop shaft and damaging the boat’s cutlass bearing. Sometimes the mono solidifies from the friction of the ship's massive engine and becomes a giant ring that's nearly impossible to get off!
Thank you for your continued business, Jim and the Eye Fleet! We will always drop what we are doing to come work on your beautiful steel-hulled stars!
Dataw Historic Foundation Chooses DSD
During the famous “Hurricane of 1893” – in which many thousands of people lost their lives in and around the Sea Islands of Beaufort – a plantation home belonging to B.B. Sams was destroyed. B.B. Sams was one of the original plantation owners in the Beaufort/Charleston area, and the plantation predated the Civil War. It was located on what was then known as "Datha Island," (from native American tribes), but is now known as "Dataw Island" (renamed during it's real estate development).
Rising flood waters and tidal surge destroyed the home. However, it’s location – now on the very banks of the Morgan River – is marked by tabby structure that is considered to be a part of the home’s chimney or a foundational corner. To see this structure on Google Earth, click here. (Requires the free version of Google Earth.)
The Dataw Historic Foundation called DEEP SOUTH DIVERS to investigate if further remains of the plantation exist below the waterline.
DEEP SOUTH DIVERS put on an amazing live presentation, complete with this PowerPoint presentation to explain what could be done. Immediately DEEP SOUTH DIVERS was hired for the job.
Want to know what happened? What we found? Click here. (Microsoft Word Document file.) Every member received a copy of this final report.
Our Regular Clients
Nobody has been more important to us than our regular clients. Today, there are more than 350 of them from Charleston, SC to Savannah, GA, with anywhere from 20-60 of them on the schedule at any one time.
Usually, regular clients stay regular clients for one reason: To keep their boat bottoms clean and clear of barnacles and oysters. These invertebrates have amazingly accelerated growth patterns here in the Lowcountry because of a massive average 8.4-foot tide. This tide – which sometimes can swing from high to low as much as 11 feet – creates incredible currents. These currents stir the local soil and make our waters full of nutrients and food sources which encourage marine life – especially filter feeders like barnacles and oysters.
What’s this mean? Well… It means that if you have a boat in the water, within weeks you will either no longer be able to get your boat to go any faster than a few knots (in some cases not even as fast as the current is running) or… You call a diver to clean the bottom. That’s where we come in.
Bottom cleaning is a tedious, arm-breaking, nasty job – but we are equipped to do it and have an excellent reputation. Regular clients at public marinas are charged only $2.99/ft. Regular clients at private docks are charged the same, plus a base price of $25 to cover travel expenses.
If the boat has not been regularly cleaned and has become badly fouled, then our prices are still tops… Although higher than a boat that’s regularly cleaned. Of course, a written estimate will be given to you and we will wait for your approval before commencing work.
Payment with us is very easy… We take cash, checks, all major credit cards, and even PayPal. On completion of the work, you will be invoiced by email unless you request otherwise. Payment online here at DEEP SOUTH DIVERS is easiest, but you can mail us a check too or even pay one of our divers "on the spot."
We are thrilled to provide references if you would like to talk to any of our clients – who include the US Coast Guard at Tybee Island, many of our local shrimpers and fishermen, and lots of private clients who simply enjoy their personal boats. Email us at Divers@DeepSouthDivers.org and we will be thrilled to put you in contact with any number of them.
They say great things about us - and we want you to, too. See you on the water!
DSD Finds OctoCopter
Our amazingly talented friends at High Point Pictures were recently shooting aerial footage from their high end, remotely controlled "OctoCopter" drone when the craft experienced a total loss of power. It sunk the moment it hit the water, and was seemingly lost forever when they called DEEP SOUTH DIVERS to spearhead a search and recovery effort. Using our advanced side scan sonar equipped boat, we located a series of anomalies on the bottom near the suspected crash site. Even though it had been several days since the crash, we successfully exercised our standard procedures with eyewitness accounts, WAAS-enabled Global Positioning Systems, and LOWRANCE side scan sonar. We searched for hours before diving virtually blind, then performed a tethered concentric circle search until the all-carbon fiber craft was located and retrieved. High Point Pictures was able to recover much of the craft's onboard and transmitted video footage and added scenes from the recovery at the end to produce a typically (for them) stunning account of the shoot, the crash and the recovery:
Tune in to DEEP SOUTH DIVERS
The jury is still out on which network is going to pick us up, but in case you haven't heard, DEEP SOUTH DIVERS is going to have it's own reality TV show! We're super stoked about this! For up-to-the-minute information about the show, subscribe to our YouTube channel or "Like" us on our Facebook page. Meanwhile, check out this trailer:
DEEP SOUTH on the Science Channel
In case you didn't already know, DEEP SOUTH DIVERS has been featured recently on the Discovery Science Channel in a television show called America's Lost H-Bomb! "Like" us on Facebook for updates on the next episode and to find out when and where to watch. For those who don't want to wait, the unedited version can be purchased from the producer's website, or a trailer for the show can be seen on our YouTube channel. Thanks for watching, and we welcome your comments and questions!
DEEP SOUTH On the Radio
You may have heard it... 104.9 "The Surf" is advertising for DEEP SOUTH DIVERS! Listen to the radio commercial here.