Deep sea researcher and Mircosoft co-founder Paul Allen passed away today. Paul Allen owned and operated the Research vessel Petrel. The ship is named after the sea bird. In 2016, Allen purchased the offshore service vessel formerly named Seven Petrel from Subsea 7, a subsea engineering, construction and services company. In 2017, the ship completed an extensive retrofitting to become a deep submergence research vessel. Today it is the only privately owned vessel in the world equipped to explore 6,000 m (19,685 ft) depths. It also serves as a testing bed for new deep sea equipment that has never been deployed on any other ship.
The primary mission of the ship, which is fully funded by Allen, is to explore historically significant wrecks at challenging depths and conditions. A precondition set by Allen is for discovered wrecks to be respected as war graves and their locations kept secret but known only to national governments and museums.
Allen’s latest find was the USS Juneau a navy cruiser discovered March 17th at a depth more than 4,200 meters . The Juneau was sunk by a Japanese torpedo during the Battle of Guadalcanal, ultimately killing 687 men including all five of the Sullivan brothers.
Last year the Petrel discovered the USS Indianapolis. In 1945, the sinking of Indianapolis led to the greatest single loss of life at sea, from a single ship, in the history of the US Navy. … At 0015 on 30 July 1945 the ship was torpedoed by the Imperial Japanese Navy submarine I-58, and sank in 12 minutes.
Many Navy veterans offer a big salute to Paul Allen for all he has done to locate the final resting places of many US sailors.