Live Broadcast from the Portland

On Sunday 10 July 2005, two 45-minute live video broadcasts were sent from the shipwreck of the steamship Portland located in the sanctuary to viewers at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum and on the World Wide Web. The broadcasts gave viewers a live tour of the steamship Portland via the National Undersea Research Center at the University of Connecticut (NURC-UConn) remotely operated vehicle Hela, narrated by researchers positioned over the wreck on board the University of Connecticut's R/V Connecticut.

Portland and Live Dive advertisement
Photo of the Portland (left) and an advertisement for the Live Broadcast. Courtesy of LARC.

Approximately 140 people watched the tours at the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum in Provincetown, MA. An additional 700 visits were made to the event's website, to view the broadcast's streaming video. Viewers at the Pilgrim Monument communicated in real time with NURC-UConn director Ivar Babb, and SBNMS archaeologists Matthew Lawrence and Deborah Marx during the broadcast, asking questions about the Portland and the marine life resident on the wreck. This project was supported by a grant from NOAA's Preserve America Initiative who saw this broadcast as a way to highlight and NOAA's maritime heritage preservation efforts.

Live Broadcast
Viewers of the live broadcast witnessed the
remarkable, yet fragile, condition of the historic
shipwreck. Courtesy of Jeffory Morris.

The Portland's remains dramatically convey the terrible ordeal its passengers experienced prior to the steamship's sinking. Furthermore, the biological diversity resident on the wreck is a snapshot of the sanctuary's ecosystem and provides a sharp juxtaposition with the human loss associated with the shipwreck.

Portland Map of ROV's route
Map developed for viewers of the broadcast to follow
the ROV's route around the Portland.

Future projects will continue to document and monitor the Portland, as well as provide public access to the site through live video broadcasts. The live broadcasts were only one component of a 5-day project in the sanctuary to investigate maritime heritage resources with an ROV in conjunction with the annual SBNMS sponsored NURC-UConn Aquanaut Program.

For more information on the steamship Portland click here.



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