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Topic: Diving arizona< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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Jim A Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 22 2003,11:57  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This isn't exactly a "new" topic, as Brian has shared many of his diving experiences, but I was curious what it was really like for you (Brian) to actually go there.  I have visited twice and as a diver and a former sailor, it was easy to imagine the ship before all #### broke loose.  All you sailors out there know the routines we all went through and the bells and alarms and drills etc.  I was just looking for a personal perspective on it as opposed to strictly the mechanical- although that fascinates me as well!
Thanks.
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Brian OConnor Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jun. 24 2003,12:46 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I am one of those fortunate few who have actually had the chance to do one of the things that they "always wanted to do".   I had studied ARIZONA to various extents since I was a child, building models of her and floating them in the pond.   I found that I enjoyed history and the research process (on things I'm interested in.   Don't ask me about the War of the Roses, I don't really care!).   Anyway; the offer of a lifetime arrived in March of 1985, while I was stationed in U.S.S. BEAUFORT, a salvage tug based at Pearl.
I made a total of seven dives on ARIZONA, along with about half a dozen "swims".   Additionally there were some half dozen other dives around Pearl Harbor in support of historic research (Project Seamark).
To give an idea of my dives, the following is an excerpt from "my memiors" on the subject.   (maybe one of these days, I'll publish them!)


    "As I approached the hull, it was not the smooth side of a warship that I saw, but a large, rough, dark wall.   Over the years of immersion, the hull surfaces had become covered with a thick layer of corrosion and corals.   It immediately reminded methat some forty-three years had passed since ARIZONA went down.   I reached out to touch the side of the hull as I swam close enough.   For a moment I just stayed there, hovering in the nearly still water, my bare handflat against the surface.   All of my years of studying ther ship and the event came together  in that one moment of contact.   There was a union of sorts, with some number of souls;I couldn't say it was one, or a thousand, or more.   But there was most definately a contact.   The moment passed.   I glanced over at Gary, (Gary Cummins, then Superintendant of the ARIZONA Memorial)   Feeling somewhat self-conscious.   His look reflected his understanding; he'd been there too, and nothing need be said.   He nodded, motioned with his hand, and we moved on."


The first dive was a general "swim-around" of the ship, a tour so-to-speak.   We started back near the quarterdeck area, then went forward to the area of the major damage and Turret one.  Then to and around the bow, and down the starboard side to the stern.   From the stern, we swam across the aft main deck area circling the barbettes and then went under the memorial and then finished back over at the dock.   The dive lasted for 73 minutes and went from the surface to the mudline.   Probably the most moving part of the dive, aside the first touch, was seeing those raised letters
on both sides of the stern;    A R I Z O N A.

Brian

Edited by Brian OConnor on --
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Jim A Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 20 2010,8:58 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I finally got some actual deck plans (other than the FDD set) and read "Descent Into Darkness".  I would like to discuss the dives which anyone knows about as far as interior.  I am not even sure if interior dives are still done, but would like to discuss the condition of the ship now that I have good references for a more technical conversation.


Jim
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Tracy White Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 25 2010,11:55 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As far as I know interior dives since the war have all been ROV and even that had people nervous due to her war grave status.

--------------
Let's see what this does...

Tracy White
http://www.ResearcherAtLarge.com
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Jim A Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 02 2010,10:41 Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks Tracy.  I am curious if the ship was ever explored in the interior to determine the extent of damage.  I seem to remember reading that the decks all pancaked together around the conning tower area of the ship but I am still curious about any examinations of the interior.  Reading "Descent Into Darkness" really piqued my interest.


Jim
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Brian OConnor Search for posts by this member.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jul. 25 2011,7:33 Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

In the years just after the attack thousands of man-hours were spent in explorations of the ships in harbor. The book "Descent into Darkness" describes many of those.
In ARIZONA, access forward of the area below the galley was almost completely cut off due to the tremendous amount of damage. On the other hand, the after part of the ship was very accessable to divers and quite a bit of ammunition, equipment, and some personal gear was removed. These aft spaces are the areas that have since been entered by ROV's, with great care and respect.
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