Explorers have located the world’s deepest shipwreck in the Philippine Sea at a depth of 6,895 meters (22,621 ft), USS Samuel B Roberts.
On June 22, 2022, USS Samuel B Roberts, also known as “Sammy B,” and its wreckage were found by sonar expert Jeremie Morizet and millionaire explorer Victor Vescovo.
During World War II, the USS Samuel B Roberts was a 93-meter (306-foot) long destroyer escort built for the US Navy. After exchanging gunfire with a huge Imperial Japanese Navy flotilla in the Battle of Samar, part of the broader Battle of Leyte Gulf, it was lost at sea in October 1944.
Despite being escorted by only a destroyer, the USS B Johnston and a small US fleet put up a good battle against the Imperial Japanese Navy. However, it was soon swamped and sank to the seafloor, along with 89 of the 224-person crew.
The last stand of the USS Samuel B Roberts, outnumbered and outgunned, is remembered as a brave moment in American naval history.
Its precise position, however, was unknown. Vescovo, the founder of Caladan Oceanic, and the EYOS Expeditions crew set out to discover the wreck in six dives between June 17 and 24 using submersible vehicles and sonar-beaming ships. On June 18, they identified the wreck using a three-tube torpedo launcher that was unique to Sammy B.
The Sammy B’s full wreck, split in half from bow to stern and sitting on a slope at a depth of 6,895 meters, was then found during a subsequent dive (22,621 feet).
This makes it the deepest wreck that has ever been located and inspected, surpassing by 426 meters the USS Johnston, which Vescovo surveyed last year at 6,469 meters (1,398 feet).
Vescovo said in a statement to IFLScience “It was an extraordinary honor to locate this incredibly famous ship, and by doing so have the chance to retell her story of heroism and duty to those who may not know of the ship and her crew’s sacrifice,” “The sheer bravery of those who fought in this fight against genuinely overwhelming odds – and prevailed – never ceases to astound me.”