On April 27-28, 1998 Denbigh
Project staff conducted a side scan sonar survey of the wreck site. The purpose of
the survey was to determine the extent of the wreck extending above above the sand.
This information was important for the planning of a diving survey of the wreck,
tentatively planned for May 7-10.
The side scan sonar survey with EdgeTech
equipment was successfully accomplished. The data showed that the only significant
wreckage exposed above the sand is the central portion of the ship's machinery area.
The boiler trunking, sidewheels and machinery lying between the sidewheels were clearly
shown in the data. No wreckage extended above the surface of the water; the heading
of the wreck was estimated, using a boat's compass, at about 120º magnetic.
Alan Craig of Survey Equipment Services (left) and Roger Caron of EdgeTech prepare the
side scan sonar for the Denbigh survey.
|Channel 3 TV of College
Station, a CBS affiliate, sent reporter Dave Taylor and a cameraman to cover the
survey. A short TV news report was aired and more coverage planned for the
future. On Monday evening Denbigh Project investigators Arnold and Oertling
hosted an informal meeting to discuss the finding of the sonar survey and the project in
general. About 20 people attended including colleagues from Texas A&M University
at Galveston (TAMUG) and students from the TAMUG scientific diving program.
|In this side
scan sonar image, made on April 27, 1998, shows the main features of Denbigh that
are exposed above the sand of Galveston Bay. This is a plan view, looking down on
the wreck site. North is at the top of this image. The two sidewheels, each
consisting of a pair of frames, show up clearly. Between them lies the machinery
that connected the wheels to piston rods from the engines, which presumably are buried
under the sand. The large dark shape at right is believed to be metal trunking over the
|Personnel participating in
this site survey included investigators Arnold and Oertling; Jimmy Reynolds and Alan Craig
of Survey Equipment Services, Houston; Roger Caron of EdgeTech, Houston; Tom Lauersdorf,
U.S. Naval Reserve; Sean Welch and Winton Robards, both of Galveston.
Equipment provided for this effort included side
scan sonar equipment from Survey Equipment Services and EdgeTech, and boats provided by
Sean Welch and Winton Roberds.