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Surveys explore U-boat wreckage in Gulf of Mexico

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.