Closed-Circuit Rebreathers in the Forensic Study of the Rouse Simmons Shipwreck.

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Closed-Circuit Rebreathers in the Forensic Study of the Rouse Simmons Shipwreck.

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Title: Closed-Circuit Rebreathers in the Forensic Study of the Rouse Simmons Shipwreck.
Author: Stanton, G; Meverden, K; Thomsen, T; Garey, J
Abstract: The Rouse Simmons is a three mast wooden schooner that sank in 165 ffw (50 mfw) in 1912 during a winter storm near the Wisconsin shoreline of Lake Michigan. The wreck is largely intact and was surveyed during two weeks of the summer of 2006. Four dive team members used closed-circuit rebreathers while three team members used technical open-circuit rigs. This allowed a direct comparison of the two technologies under the challenging conditions of deep cold water diving. Water temperature appeared to be the limiting factor in dive time for both rebreather and open-circuit divers. A temporary filling station was set up at the boat dock with oxygen, helium, booster pumps and a limited output air compressor. Expendable supplies for rebreathers (gas and sorb) cost one-half that of the open-circuit rigs but the main benefit was the decreased fill time and simpler logistics of the rebreathers. The rebreathers allowed a very detailed survey of the hull, the rigging and the debris field around the wreck. Preliminary forensic analyses suggest that the Rouse Simmons had steerage and was heading for shelter when it sank. The mizzen mast snapped off just above the deck line and the upper portion was not found. The main mast lies forward and to the port side of the hull and the base appears to be missing. The foremast is intact and lies nearly parallel but on top of the main mast suggesting at least one of these masts fell out of the mast step as the ship went down.
Description: American Academy of Underwater Sciences (http://www.aaus.org/)
URI: http://archive.rubicon-foundation.org/6996
Date: 2007

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