|Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback||
Raising the HunleyAired August 7, 2000 - 1:39 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: A rare submarine soon may surface more than a century after it disappeared beneath the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.
CNN's Brian Cabell reports on the plans to raise the Hunley.
BRIAN CABELL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Thirty feet below this dive boat off the coast of Charleston, lies a 136-year-old mystery. The Hunley, the first submarine ever to sink an enemy ship, is down there. And tomorrow, if weather and sea conditions permit, divers and engineers will finally pull it up, take it to a lab for study.
The Hunley's encrusted in a thick, rock-like coating, but divers say it appears to be in remarkably good shape. They believe the bodies of her nine-man crew, along with their possessions, remain inside, possibly in a semi-preserved state. Visibility without the big camera light is limited.
ROBERT NEYLAND, DIR., HUNLEY RECOVERY PROJECT: It goes everywhere from having two or three feet of visibility, to being in a coal mine with the lights out.
CABELL: This is a replica of the Hunley, as it appeared when it sank during the U.S. Civil War. The 40-foot-long submarine was designed to break the Union blockade of Charleston Harbor. And on February 16, 1864, the hand-cranked sub rammed a Union warship, stuck an explosive device in its side, and blew it up.
But then the Hunley itself sank. No one knows why. Two previous crews lost their lives on the experimental vessel. They're now buried in Charleston. But the third crew ignored the danger and went, nevertheless.
GLENN MCCONNELL: Fear was just an element that they had put aside. They were focused on breaking the blockade, their duty, as they saw it, to the state, and that's all that mattered to them.
CABELL: What matters to the salvaging crew now is to keep the Hunley intact and undamaged. They have removed sand and silt from around the vessel, an elaborate truss with heavy-duty straps will actually lift the Hunley to the surface of the water. WARREN LASCH, FRIENDS OF THE HUNLEY: I guarantee I'll cry. I will. I get tears in my eyes once in a while when I think about the bravery of these men, and to bring them home finally after all these years, and get them out of that cold sea bed, I'm going to cry.
CABELL: Emotion for some, intellectual curiosity for others. Not only is the Hunley a time capsule, it was a Naval vessel way ahead of its time. It took another half-century before another sub sank an enemy ship.
Brian Cabell, CNN, Charleston.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com
|Back to the top||
© 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.|
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.