Tuesday, November 29, 2011

New Images of USS Cumberland & CSS Florida Wrecks

USS Cumberland, starboard side

USS Cumberland, bow looking forward

CSS Florida, from top

CSS Florida, starboard side
The Hampton Roads Naval Museum (HRNM) recently received these stunning 3-D images of the sloop-of-war USS Cumberland and the cruiser CSS Florida.  The images were taken by technicians from Adavanced Underwater Surveys, Inc., using their Wrecksight(TM) software during the June 2011 stabilization survey project of the two shipwrecks. The project was sponsored by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's Marine Sanctuaries Division, the Naval History and Heritage Command's Underwater Archeology Division, and HRNM (also part of NHHC).  The Navy and NOAA conduct surveys like these to ensure that the sites have not been disturbed.

The ironclad CSS Virginia rammed and sank Cumberland on March 8, 1862 on the first day of the Battle of Hampton Roads. Shortly after being brought back from Brazil under tow, Florida sank just a few hundred yards away from Cumberland in 1864 under mysterious circumstances. 

Both wrecks under the protection of Federal law and artifacts from both vessels can be seen at the Hampton Roads Naval Museum.

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