US Navy Divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2 and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians from Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit (EODMU) 6, in conjunction with archaeologists, conservationists, Naval History and Heritage Command, and the US Army Corps of Engineers, are diving the Savannah river in support of the salvage of Civil War ironclad CSS Georgia.
Literally plunging into history, the team is in the water recovering Civil War-era ordnance and projectiles, rendering the site safe for the next stages of the mission.
The salvage of the CSS Georgia from the Savannah River is necessitated by the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, or SHEP. In order to deepen the river—from 42 to 47 feet for larger ships—the ironclad needed to be removed, otherwise it would be demolished with the expansion, as the wreck sits right on the shoulder of the channel used by commercial ships entering the Port of Savannah. Planning took efforts from several sources, starting with the US Army Corps of Engineers.
The team is utilizing high-tech sonar, underwater imaging equipment and variety modern-day dive equipment, but the historical importance of the mission isn’t lost in slew of technology.
Navy Divers are in the water every day, throughout the world, performing a diverse array of mission sets. With 2015 serving as The Year of the Military Diver, the CSS Georgia is a perfect illustration of their capabilities as they dive into history.
Image: US Navy