Fan of Full Fathom Five? Be sure to check it out at its new home!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Julius Kroehl's Submarine

The 18m Explorer submarine was originally intended to be used by the Union navy and was built by an immigrant iron worker, Julius Kroehl, for $75,000 in 1865, a time when a mid-level public servant earned $200 a year.

The submarine came too late to play a decisive role in the Civil War and it was sent to trawl for pearls in the Gulf of Panama.

But after collecting 10 tonnes of pearl shell in 11 days on its maiden trip, the sub was abandoned after the divers on board succumbed to the bends, known in those days as "the fever".

Australian experts have now been asked to help salvage the submersible 130 years after it was beached on a remote island off Panama.

1 comment:

Dwayne Clark said...

That is a neat story.