Civil War Era Submarine H.L. Hunley Resurfaces After Nearly 150 Years

pb-120112-hunley-01.photoblog900The Hunley was the first combat submarine to ever sink an enemy warship. That was on February 17, 1864. It sank for unknown reasons soon after, taking all eight crew members down with her.It would remain lost at sea for over a hundred years before being discovered in 1970. The wreck would remain buried under layers of silt another three decades before its excavation in 2000. Now, after spending 10 years in a fresh water preservation tank to remove salt, the Hunley has come back up for air.

Scientists getting their first, unobstructed glance at the Hunley were astonished at the sophisticated engineering present in the intact, 42-foot long, nearly 150 year old warship. Michael Drews, director of Clemson's Warren Lasch Conservation Center spoke with MSNBC: "It has the ballast tanks fore and aft, the dive planes were counterbalanced, the propeller was shrouded," Drews said. "It's just got all of the elements that the modern submarines have, updated."

Visitors can obtain tickets for guided tours of the conservation laboratory that houses the Hunley at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston, S.C. on weekends. The Center includes artifacts found inside the Hunley, exhibits about the submarine, and a video.

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