The deepest shipwreck ever identified, the Sammy B, has been discovered by adventurer Victor Vescovo with help from CSM Energy’s Deep Submersible Support Vessel (DSSV) Pressure Drop.
Texan financier and adventurer Mr Vescovo was delighted to discover the USS Samuel B Roberts that went down during the Battle off Samar in the Philippine Sea in October 1944. The warship was found heavily battered but largely intact.
The expedition took place over 10 days in July and was the second time the team visited the Philippine Trench in search of wrecks from WWII involved in the Battle off Samar.
On discovering the Sammy B, Mr Vescovo said: “I was so incredibly happy to find her. She is only 93 metres long and it turned out that she was resting on a broken, steep slope which made her even harder to locate by sonar because she blended in a bit with the local terrain.
“But to see the intact hull, her weapons still loaded with live ammunition, her broken mast and shattered stern – it was like seeing history come alive. We were the first people to see her since she sank below the waves that day in 1944 and it was such a privilege to be the ones that found her. Her crew was extraordinarily brave, and if any ship rivalled the USS Johnston in its bravery of Captain and crew, it was the Sammy B. I was so glad that we would get to use the discovery as an opportunity to retell her heroic history again.”
CSM Energy, specialists in technical and crew management of offshore vessels, is delighted that the Pressure Drop played such a significant part in the discovery of the Sammy B wreckage
The DSSV Pressure Drop, which has been used on many of Mr Vescovo’s previous expeditions, and its crew enabled the expedition team to stay out at sea as long as it did, with the use of all its specialised equipment to search for, locate and then survey the wreck.
The vessel carried and supported the deep ocean submersible Limiting Factor, which Mr Vescovo helped to build and then piloted, to dive to the depth it did to discover the wreckage. The Limiting Factor vessel has visited the deepest points of all five of the world’s oceans.
Mark O’Neil, CEO of the Columbia Group, said: “I am delighted to hear that the DSSV Pressure Drop has been involved yet again in such a remarkable expedition to explore some of the hardest to reach parts of our magnificent oceans. It is great to see such worthwhile expeditions taking place to explore the combined military history of Allied forces in WWII.
“Columbia’s experienced crew have made many of the aspects of this project a reality and have in turn contributed to playing a part in our modern history which aims to investigate the deepest, most inaccessible parts of our oceans whilst at the same time inspiring the next generation of curious and resilient seafarers.”
Kyriakos Tsangaris, Technical Director at CSM Energy, added: “We are proud that CSM Energy managed research vessel, DSSV Pressure Drop, has once again been part of making history. We are committed to using our expertise and experienced crew to continue to aid in such ground-breaking expeditions, aiming to investigate the parts of our oceans that have never been explored whether for scientific and exploration purposes or collecting vital information about our planet.
“The Pressure Drop and CSM Energy’s dedication, allowed Victor and his team to stay out at sea for an extended period of time, carrying all the necessary specialised equipment, a full ship crew, submersible tending team, sonar team, science team, media people and even some historians.”
Global explorer, Mr Vescovo has set a Guinness World record as the person who has covered the greatest vertical distance without leaving Earth’s surface. He reached the top of Mount Everest and dove to the deepest point of the sea man has visited in the Mariana trench. He also flew to space onboard New Shepard, as part of the Blue Origin NS-21 mission in 2022. Forbes has recognised Mr Vescovo as the “First To Climb Everest, Visit Ocean’s Deepest Depth And Fly To The Final Frontier.”