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Virtual Dive Trail Reveals Wreck of HMS Victory, unseen by the public for 269 years

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Unseen by the public for 269 years, the greatest warship from the age of  sail can now be visited through the world’s first virtual wreck dive trail. HMS Victory sank during a ferocious storm on 5 October 1744. Remains washed up on the Channel Isles, leading the Admiralty and modern historians to seek this First Rate English flagship off the Casquets. This  great maritime mystery was solved when Odyssey Marine Exploration – a world leader in deep-sea archaeological research – discovered the wreck 100 kilometres west of the Channel Isles. The wreck site is owned by the Maritime Heritage Foundation following a gift from the Ministry of Defence in January 2012.

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Located in the western English Channel, 80 kilometres southeast of Plymouth and outside UK territorial waters, the wreck of the Victory is almost inaccessible. Her remains lie in 75 metres – beyond safe diving depths and beneath one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Changing tides and strong currents make diving by humans dangerous. Offshore fishing boats drag heavy gear across the seabed. For safety reasons the surveys conducted since 2008 have relied on  Odyssey’s 7-ton Remotely-Operated Vehicle Zeus, the world’s most sophisticated archaeologically tooled robot.

Now everyone can share the warship’s deep-sea wonders. The Victory Virtual Dive Trail presents high-definition video coverage. Visitors can move across the wreck – using a bird’s eye vertical view made up of 4,535 digital photographs – to micro views of the wreck and, in turn, to high- definition video taken in 2008.

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The video trail shows many of the Victory’s most prized features – its 100 bronze cannon collapsed onto the seabed (including Europe’s most powerful 42-pounder guns), hull remains, wood and bronze rigging, iron ballast, anchors and the ship’s rudder. Accompanying text sets the archaeological remains in a historical setting.

The site’s survival is threatened by many environmental and human issues and the Virtual Dive Trail shows snagged fishing gear, heavily scratched cannon, and guns dragged up to 230 metres away from the wreck mound. Video captures the position of a 24-pounder bronze cannon before it was looted by Dutch salvors in 2011.

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The Victory Virtual Dive Trail is part of the Maritime Heritage Foundation’s commitment to making this deep-sea site accessible to everyone through scientific and educational programmes. The UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage encourages non- intrusive access to shipwrecks worldwide to create public awareness, appreciation, protection and to benefit sustainable economic development. This is why a virtual dive trail has been created to bring the site to the people.

The Victory Virtual Dive Trail has been developed by the Maritime Heritage Foundation, Odyssey Marine Exploration and Wreck Watch Int. The website platform and its additional sections on the historical and archaeological background of HMS Victory can be visited at: www.victory1744.org.

About Victory (1744)

The direct predecessor to Admiral Nelson’s flagship bearing the same name, the First Rate HMS Victory commanded by Admiral Sir John Balchin was one of the most technically advanced ships in the world when she disappeared on 5 October 1744. Built with three decks and carrying up to 110 bronze cannon, she was the last British First Rate armed entirely with highly prestigious   bronze guns. The Victory is the only archaeologically investigated First Rate English warship wreck discovered worldwide. Project Designs and Management Principles have been presented to HM Government seeking agreement to conduct a joint research and rescue oriented project on the wreck site, in the first instance to record and recover artefacts at immediate risk.

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About the Maritime Heritage Foundation

The Maritime Heritage Foundation is a Charitable Trust established to locate, excavate, recover, raise, restore and/or preserve shipwrecks for the benefit of the United Kingdom. It was gifted the remains of the Victory by a deed of the Ministry of Defence in January 2012. Its Chairman, Lord Lingfield, is a relative of Admiral Sir John Balchin, who was the commander of the Victory when she sank in 1744. The Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Committee is directed by Dr. Margaret Rule, former director of the Mary Rose excavations and recovery.

 

About Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (Nasdaq:OMEX) is engaged in deep-ocean exploration using innovative methods and state-of-the-art technology for historic shipwreck projects, modern commodity shipwreck projects and mineral exploration. Odyssey offers various ways to share in the excitement of deep-ocean exploration by making shipwrecks and artefacts available to the general public, students, and specialists through its virtual museum, exhibitions, loans to established museums, books, television and educational programme located at  www.OdysseysVirtualMuseum.com. The company maintains a Facebook page at  http://www.facebook.com/OdysseyMarine and a Twitter feed @OdysseyMarine. For additional details on Odyssey Marine Exploration, please visit www.shipwreck.net.

 

About Wreck Watch Int.

Wreck Watch Int. is a London-based consultancy specializing in global maritime heritage. With a booming demography and coastal development, marine construction, fisheries, sport divers, shipwreck explorers, looters and the cutting of oil pipelines and cable lines are exerting ever- increasing pressures on shorelines and offshore waters. Directed by Dr. Sean Kingsley, Wreck Watch casts a spotlight on the threats to shipwrecks in deep and shallow waters and on submerged harbours. A central objective is to bridge academic research, the private sector, industry and the general public for purposes of mainstream education, understanding and entertainment and to make the underwater world a demystified, non-exclusive realm accessible to all. For additional details on Wreck Watch Int., please visit www.wreckwatch.com and blog.wreckwatch.com.

Gear News

New from Fourth Element: the RF2 free diving wetsuit

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The team at fourth element have introduced their latest freediving wetsuit, the RF2. Streamlined and high-performance, this two piece 6/5/4/mm suit has been developed for freedivers who want to enjoy maximum freedom and ultimate warmth.

Lined outer panels around the core, arms and legs provide durability, a Glideskin across the shoulders and the hood maximises hydrodynamics. This hybrid freediving wetsuit offers cool and cold water freedivers the freedom to explore their limits in comfort.

Director of fourth element, Paul Strike said, “We’ve designed this suit with the consultation of professional freedivers, instructors and with the knowledge of freedive suit specialists. The RF2 brings together fourth element’s knowledge of thermal protection with freediving expertise at the top of the sport to create a high performance recreational suit.”

The suit is both comfortable and practical, being more durable than traditional smoothskin suits whilst retaining excellent stretch and form fitting design. The inner of the suit has a smooth cell Metalite coating; this provides extra warmth retention and is more robust than traditional open cell.

Daan Verhoeven, Freediving Cameraman said, “The RF2 is possibly the best off-the peg suit I’ve ever tried. As soon as I got in the water, I instantly forgot the suit. I was just comfortable and could move without anything pinching or water coming in.”

Features

  • Streamline cut optimising glide
  • 5mm comfort, flexibility and warmth
  • Open cell interior, lined exterior
  • Smoothskin outer hood and shoulders for extra hydrodynamics
  • Beavertail closure
  • Supratex seat panel for extra durability

RF2 Hooded Jacket and Leggings are available in sizes S – XL.

RF2 Hooded Jacket 6/5/4mm RRP: £229.95 GBP / €275.00 EUR

RF2 Leggings 5/4mm RRP: £149.95 / €179.00 EUR

Find out more at www.fourthelement.com

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Marine Life & Conservation

Parineeti Chopra teams up with PADI to create Ocean Change

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PADI® is thrilled to announce an exceptional PADI AmbassaDiver™: Indian actress, singer and PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Parineeti Chopra.

“A PADI AmbassaDiver is someone who is passionate about using their force for good to encourage others to protect our blue planet,” says Kristin Valette Wirth, Chief Brand and Membership Officer. “We could not have found a more respected and authentic partner as Ms. Chopra, a long time ocean lover, to advance our shared mission of saving the ocean. She is unmatched as a shining example of how to protect what you love – and inspire others to do the same.”

Chopra, who has always loved the ocean, experienced the magic beneath the surface in 2013 when she took her first breath underwater in Bali. As soon as she surfaced from that dive, she was hooked – and protecting the ocean became very personal for her, receiving her PADI Open Water Diver certification later that year in Palau. Since then, she has inspired others around the world, from her family and friends to fans in India– to try scuba diving so they can join her in seeking adventure and saving the ocean.

“The first time I came up to the surface after diving, I was crying because it was such a life-changing experience,” says Ms. Chopra. “It is now something I can’t live without. I make sure I do a diving trip every three months despite my work schedule because it is my form of meditation. And it is the place I am immensely passionate about protecting.”

“We are all equal underwater and all speak the same language. Over the years I have seen the changes that have taken place beneath the surface. During my time as a brand ambassador for Tourism Australia, I witnessed the bleaching and damage that has occurred to the Great Barrier Reef.  I was so sad to see this and am now committed to being a diver with a purpose. I have also seen first-hand how marine reserves, like the ones in Sipadan, Malaysia and Palau, prove how valuable marine protected areas are. As a PADI Diver, I want to make sure that our entire blue planet gets the protection it deserves.” continues Ms. Chopra.

With over 67 million social media followers and having recently starred in the Netflix movie The Girl on the Train, Chopra joins an elite group of celebrity influencers determined to take personal action and create real change for healthier oceans. Spending nearly all her free time diving around the world, Chopra shares her love for the ocean with her fans, as diving is an important part of her life that allows her to return to nature and reset. She will work with PADI to encourage others to experience the beautiful world underwater as PADI Divers and join her in helping to achieve balance between humanity and the ocean.

“PADI created the AmbassaDiver programmeme to support extraordinary divers who dedicate their lives to illuminating the path that leads from curiosity, exploration, and discovery to understanding, stewardship and action. Ms. Chopra is playing a very important role in ocean conservation, lighting the way for others to become divers themselves and mobilising communities worldwide to seek adventure and save the ocean with her,” continues Valette Wirth.

Ms. Chopra has big plans for 2022 – including becoming a real-life PADI Mermaid and taking part in citizen science projects during her dive trips around the world. Follow Chopra’s dive adventures, projects and hands-on conservation efforts with PADI on her Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

To learn more about Chopra and the rest of the PADI AmbassaDiver team visit www.padi.com/ambassadivers.

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Competitions

A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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