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 Post subject: New video coming soon!
 Post Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:46 am 
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Our videographer Scott Bartel teamed up with our Technical Diving Instructor Bill VonHoene to complete the pinnacle dive on Oriskany this past week

Scott and Bill penetrated deep into the ship arriving in Engine Room 2, where they were able to inspect areas where some of the charges were placed.

Some of the valves were completely sheared off by the explosions, and there was a good bit of debris scattered around, but the deck and surrounding bulkheads remained intact.

I was really surprised by the amount of corrosion and marine growth in the engine room, and there are even "rusticles" (like those on the Titanic) hanging off one of the ladders.

Scott got some incredible video (as always), and I'll be posting highlights as soon as I can get them ready.

DISCLAIMER:
These dives are extremely dangerous and should not be attempted by anyone without proper training, experience, and equipment. Scott and Bill each have more than a hundred dives on Oriskany, including many penetration dives into the ship. Planning and preparation for this dive took several weeks.

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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:55 am 
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Wow, engine room 2 huh? That is pretty far into the ship. How much bottom time does a person actually get to do something like that?


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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:32 am 
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Total Dive was over 2 hours. Actual time in the engine room was about 10 minutes at a max depth of 215. The route to the engine room is a little bit easier now than it was when she was afloat.

They were on trimix (not sure what %'s were) with 50% and 100% O2 for deco.

For the non-divers that may be wondering what the heck I'm talking about, they were breathing a blended gas mix which included Oxygen, Nitrogen, and helium. The helium reduces a narcotic effect produced by nitrogen at increased pressure - without the helium, divers essentially get drunk as they go deeper.

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Jim Phillips
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 Post Posted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:25 pm 
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Ok, so now you have my curiosity piqued...

How is the engine room easier to get to now, than when she was afloat? Is there some sort of structural damage that allows easier access?

(I imagine that the answer is yes, and that it came from the blasts during the reefing)


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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 6:10 am 
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Some of the prep work included cutting large holes in some of the bulkheads and decks. If you know which ones lead to where, you can bypass most of the small hatches that would otherwise make this dive nearly impossible.

The charges really did less damage than I would have expected.

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Jim Phillips
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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 8:33 am 
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Thats good to hear.

On the Essex class boats, towards the aft end of hanger bay 3, there is a large, rectangular access hatch, in the hanger bay floor. It goes down about 4 decks. Is this off, or did they leave it on?


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 Post Posted: Sun Jul 06, 2008 3:53 pm 
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The hatch is still there, but there are some access holes cut through the hangar deck.

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Jim Phillips
USS Oriskany Online
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MBT Divers
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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:49 pm 
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Still working on the video, but I did get some still pics up.
I don't have this page address linked for the "public" yet, and this is one of the only places you can access it for now.

http://www.mbtdivers.com/Oriskany/OriskanyPen.htm

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Jim Phillips
USS Oriskany Online
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MBT Divers
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 Post Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:12 pm 
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Great images Jim. Thanks for sharing. A special thanks to Scott and Bill for making the dive. It must have been an erie feeling to be that deep into the ship.

Doc

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