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Bonhomme Richard: Connecting the Past With the Future

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A unique team of personnel from federal, private, and international organizations has worked together over the past seven years to locate the remains of the Bonhomme Richard (BHR), one of the original ships of the U.S. Continental Navy commanded by Captain John Paul Jones and lost in the North Sea in 1779. While the team has yet to discover the wreckage, it has demonstrated the effective capabilities and value of state-of-the-art technology to image and survey objects on the bottom of the North Sea. Perhaps, more importantly, it has demonstrated that people from disparate organizations and militaries can work together effectively and efficiently with minimal overhead and bureaucracy. The work to date has paved the way toward eventual location and recovery of the BHR, but it has also demonstrated a partnership model that should be explored in other venues as we seek to increase our knowledge of the changing ocean environment. This paper describes the partnerships, challenges, and value of the search; its applications to STEM education; and its role in advancing the fields of ocean science and exploration.

Keywords: international partnership; marine archaeology; ocean technology; shipwreck

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2013-03-01

More about this publication?
  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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