NOAA shipwreck exploration to be featured in real time at NC Aquarium on Roanoke Island

MANTEO, N.C. – If your a fan of learning about shipwrecks, then the N.C. Aquarium on Roanoke Island will let you experience a deep-water investigation of an unidentified shipwreck off the North Carolina coast live.

According to officials, members of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will conduct the exploration that will be live-streamed by the aquarium on June 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The ship that is being explored is about 40 miles off the coast of Hatteras Island, and officials are hoping that the research vessel Okeanos Explorer will help them shed some light on the ship that lies approximately in 1,000 feet of water.

Guest will be able to view that exploration on a movie screen in the aquarium’s Neptune’s Theater while guest experts answer questions from those who attend. They will also be able to point out significant developments and even communicate directly with the Okeanos archaeological team.

“What we’re getting is a unique opportunity to witness the uncovering of a real maritime mystery,” said NCARI Associate Director Allen McDowell. “And NOAA has graciously allowed us to go along for the ride.”

NOAA maritime archaeologist Joe Hoyt says records indicate several World War II era vessels were sunk in that area, but that an up-close investigation is the only way to confirm the ship’s identity and history. During the eight-hour dive, the submersible will broadcast video back to the Okeanos’ crew, which will search for telling clues like damage from artillery or torpedoes.

Adding to the underwater experience, the UNC Coastal Studies Institute will present a 3-D underwater shipwreck video shot in North Carolina waters, and offer educational interpretation of that diving adventure.

“We don’t know what they are going to find. At that depth, there is the possibility of not only the shipwreck, but also interesting marine life,” McDowell sai

Weather permitting, the dive will happen over the course of the day. Aquarium guests are invited to stop in throughout their visit and catch up on new developments, though some die-hard shipwreck fans may choose to stay throughout the entire broadcast. “We don’t know what they are going to find. At that depth, there is the possibility of not only the shipwreck, but also interesting marine life,” McDowell said.

The event is available through the regular admissions price to the museum.