The two-person submersible piloted by Mr. Vescovo “has no operating depth limitation,” permitting it to go farther than the car used in 2019, in line with Caladan Oceanic.
The others on the mission had been Parks Stephenson, a retired lieutenant commander with the U.S. Navy; and Shane Eigler, a senior submarine technician.
Last month, Mr. Vescovo and his workforce got here up empty-handed on two dives. But on a 3rd try, one thing new emerged: “the very sharp pointy end of the bow of the ship,” Mr. Vescovo mentioned throughout a phone interview this week from his house in Dallas. “We were just stunned at how intact it was.”
Mr. Vescovo, who was with Mr. Eigler on the dive, slowly steered his submersible to the facet of the ship, and, “There it was, bright white numbers, on the hull: 557,” he mentioned. “I turned to my co-pilot, because I was very busy piloting the sub and making sure that we were safe, and I said, ‘Get a picture! Get a picture!’”
It was, he later wrote on Twitter, “an extremely intense experience.”
On their fourth dive, they took extra footage and video, which confirmed two five-inch gun turrets, twin torpedo racks and a number of other gun mounts on the ship. And, in fact, the enormous 557. “Imagery from the site clearly shows the ship’s hull number 557 confirming the identity of the wreck,” the Naval History and Heritage Command mentioned in a statement on April 1.
The journey to the wreckage of the Johnston was not Mr. Vescovo’s first headline-making dive. In 2019, he declared that he had made the deepest-ever dive by a human being, after piloting a submersible into Challenger Deep, a spot almost seven miles down in a protracted fissure in the western Pacific.
(That declare was disputed by James Cameron, the Hollywood director of “The Abyss” and “Titanic,” who can be a diving devotee and explored the Challenger Deep throughout a 2012 expedition.)