Volume 1, Number 8, Page 2


July 1998



On August 6, 1997, representatives of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (MNMS), the Sanctuary and Reserves Division (SRD), the NOAA Diving Program (NDP), and the National Undersea Research Center at the University of North Carolina (NURC/UNCW) met in Washington, DC, to begin planning a diving expedition to the wreck of the Monitor the following year. The meeting was in response to a request from Mr. John Broadwater, Manager of the MNMS, to the NDP to conduct untethered, self-contained research dives to the wreck. Such a request was necessary due to the fact that the proposed diving operations were outside the scope of the NOAA Diving Regulations, thus requiring approval by the NOAA Diving Safety Board (NDSB).

A plan was devised to assemble a team of NOAA and NURC/UNCW personnel that would be trained in technical “trimix” diving techniques and prepared to carryout the underwater tasks assigned by Mr. Broadwater. One concern of the plan was the experience level of the dive team. Although the members of the dive team were all competent divers, they had limited experience in deep diving and virtually no experience diving on the Monitor. Mr. Broadwater indicated that a group of divers from the Cambrian Foundation (CF) had been diving at the Monitor for several years under a MNMS research permit and were extremely interested in participating in the expedition. He also indicated that the CF President, Mr. Terrence Tysall had volunteered to conduct technical trimix training for the NOAA and NURC/UNCW personnel at no charge. The merits of having a group of highly experienced deep divers with recent experience of diving on the Monitor was obvious and the plan was revised to include members of the Cambrian Foundation on the expedition. The combined team of NOAA, NURC/UNCW, and Cambrian Foundation was re-designated as the "Monitor Dive Team".

Specific responsibilities of each organization were identified and assigned as follows:
MNMS: Provide majority of funding for project including breathing gases, vessel charter, transportation and per diem for NURC/UNCW, Cambrian, and sanctuary participants. Provide dive equipment for sanctuary personnel. Develop operations plan. Coordinate vessel logistics with NOAA and US Navy. Mr. John Broadwater to serve as chief scientist for expedition and provide three personnel: John Broadwater, Jeff Johnston, and Karen Kozlowski.
NDP: Provide funding for transportation and per diem for NDP participants. Provide dive equipment for NDP personnel. Mr. David Dinsmore to serve as expedition diving coordinator. Assist in developing operations plan. Provide salary support for three personnel: Dave Dinsmore, Steve Urick, and Chris Cote.
UNCW: Provide funding for R/V Cape Fear during diver training. Provide dive boat R/V Cape Fear. Provide Diver Medical Technician (DMT). Provide dive equipment for NURC/UNCW personnel. Provide NURC/UNCW – NOAA recompression chamber. Provide portable nitrox mixing system. Provide salary support for four personnel: Doug Kesling, Ken Johns, Glenn Taylor, and Jay Styron.
CF: Provide trimix diver training for NOAA and NURC/UNCW personnel. Mr. Terrence Tysall to serve as expedition diving supervisor. Assist in developing operations plan. Provide thirteen personnel with personal dive equipment: Terrence Tysall, John Selser, Kyle Creamer, Tim Gallagher, John Chluski, Julie Kaye, Chris Johnson, Steve Newman, Bill Ward, Curt Bowen, Darryl McDonald, Thaddius Bedford, and Colin Hobbs
SRD: Allocate three weeks ship time on NOAAS FERREL and provide salary support for one person: Bill Valley.
Look for the next installment in next months issue.End of article

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