Surveys explore U-boat wreckage in Gulf of Mexico

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Robert Ballard, of Titanic exploration fame, is deploying his exploration vessel Nautilus to remotely take imagery of the American ship Robert E. Lee and the U-166, a German U-boat that was sunk by depth charges from the Lee’s escort during World War II on July 30, 1942.

The photos, taken nearly a mile under the Gulf of Mexico, are so clear that small holes are visible in a lifeboat that may have gone down or been scuttled when a passenger ship was sunk by a Nazi submarine in 1942.

Ballard, whose crew photographed, videoed and mapped the vessels for a National Geographic documentary to air on PBS, uses a pair of tethered, remotely piloted mini-subs. Along with additional cameras, the second allows more light than the usual single submersible available to most scientists.

Click here for the full report with photos by the Navy Times.