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Monitor: Research and Recovery

Raising the Monitor's turret

The turret of the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor is lifted out of the Atlantic Ocean and onto the work barge Wotan, off the coast of Hatteras N.C., Aug 5, 2002. The silt-packed turret was raised Monday afternoon from the Atlantic floor, nearly 140 years after the historic warship sank during a New Year's storm. (Photo: AP Pool/Steve Helber)

Celebrating the raising of the Monitor's turret

Navy divers celebrate as the turret of the USS Monitor breaks the surface Aug. 5, 2002, off the coast of Hatteras, N.C. (Photo: AP Pool/Steve Early)

Celebrating the turret raising

Monitor Marine Sanctuary Director John Broadwater, left, and Cmdr. Bobbie Scholley react as the turret of the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor is placed on the deck of awork barge off the coast of Hatteras, N.C., Monday, Aug 5, 2002. (Photo: AP Pool/Steve Helber)

Top down view of the Monitor turret

Workers look over the turret of the USS Monitor after it was brought onto the deck of a work barge Aug. 5, 2002, off the coast of Hatteras, N.C. (Photo: AP Pool/Steve Early)

The USS Monitor is currently resting upside-down on its displaced turret. The turret is at the stern section of the ship. Initial archaeological dives retrieved items such as china, armor plates, and the signal lantern. (illustration: Jeff Johnston)

Sonar image of the Monitor, obtained on a recent survey by the NOAA Ship WHITING. (image: US NOAA Corps.)

An illustration of the Monitor as seen from above it's current position. (illustration: Jeff Johnston)

The signal lantern used by the Monitor's crew was found during a dive at the wreck. (photo: The Mariner's Museum)


The Monitor's anchor was recovered in 1983 and is now currently on display at the Mariner's Museum in Newport News, VA. The three ton iron propeller was recovered in 1998 during a joint mission between the Navy, NOAA and other research organizations.(photo: The Mariner's Museum)

The goals of the Summer 2000 expedition are to stabilize the Monitor's hull with bags filled with grout (concrete) and deploy a 85 ton Engine Recovery Structure. This structure will be used next summer (2001), when the Navy/NOAA expedition team will attempt to recover the Monitor's unique steam engine. (illustrations: Jeff Johnston)

The expedition team consists of Naval and civilian personnel. All will be stationed aboard the Weeks 526, a 350 ton capacity American derrick. It will support berthing and messing for mission personnel, the navy dive system, two hyper baric chambers, the engine recovery system (ERS), and the grouting system. (photo: Monitor NMS)

Navy divers are utilizing specialized diving equipment such as the mK-21 MOD 1 Diving Helmet. This helmet is used by the navy for salvage and deep water diving. Cameras and lights are mounted on the helmet in order to video record the salvage effort. The helmet alone weighs 27 lbs. dry. (photo: Monitor NMS)

Navy divers are lowered over the side, down to the wreck, on the "stage". These divers will be walking on the bottom rather than swimming. Their mission is to stabilize the hull, record information, and time permitting, retrieve smaller artifacts from the wreck. (photo: Monitor NMS)

A diver's view of the wreck of the USS Monitor as seen from the "stage". (photo: Monitor NMS)

Divers are placing grout bags under the hull of the Monitor in predetermined stabilization areas. These bags contain the grout (concrete) so that it may harden in place. Divers may only stay down for short periods of time, so they must rotate a number of divers throughout the day. A decompression chamber is on board the Weeks 526, which the divers must use after each dive. (photo: Monitor NMS)

Underwater view of diver returning to the "stage".(photo: Monitor NMS)

Waves as seen from the Weeks 526. Rough weather and severe currents have hampered operations, but work progresses. (photo: Monitor NMS)

A wave jumps over the bow and onto the pilot house of the Tug Katherine. The Katherine is stationed with the Weeks 526 for support. (photo: Monitor NMS)

The expedition also utilizes an Remotely Operated Vehicle and a Submersible to conduct research activities around the wreck of the USS Monitor. This is the SeaROVER. (photo: US Navy)

The Clelia is a submersible currently being used to support the mission. The Clelia is owned and operated by Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution (HBOI). In this photo the Clelia is being lowered over the side of the HBOI research vessel Sea Diver (photo: Monitor NMS)

Clelia submerging for a mission.(photo: Monitor NMS)

The "Bridge", first and largest of three sections of the Engine Recovery System, is lowered into the water. It will remain over the wreck until the engine is recovered. Two other portions of the ERS, the trolley and the engine lift frame will also be deployed.(photo: Monitor NMS)

A Navy diver assisting in the underwater portion of the deployment of the "bridge" section of the ERS. You can see a portion of the bridge in the background of this photo. (photo: Monitor NMS)

This section of the Monitor was once the Captain's state room. This image was taken from the submersible Clelia. (photo: Monitor NMS)

View of the Engine Frame. Photo was taken from the Clelia. (photo: Monitor NMS)

The Clelia attempts to recover armor plates which have fallen from the wreck. (photo: Monitor NMS)

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