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Researchers livestream underwater shipwreck exploration

Researchers will explore the wreck of the steamship "Portland," which ran between Boston and Portland. It sank in 1898, killing 190 people.
Credit: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
The steamship "Portland" sank in a 1898 storm, killing 190 people.

BOSTON, Massachusetts — A team of researchers will livestream their exploration of shipwrecks in Massachusetts waters, including the wreck of a 19th-century steamship that killed 190 people when it sank.

Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), NOAA, and Marine Imaging Technologies will return to the site of the wreck of the steamship Portland, which is sometimes referred to as the “Titanic of New England” for the second year in a row. 

The ship ran between Boston and Portland, Maine, and sank in 1898 during a storm.

The team is deploying an underwater robot that includes cinema-class video equipment to document the wreckage and will livestream parts of their expedition over three days.

The shipwreck was discovered in 2002 by NOAA, and since then has “become a link to the nation’s shared maritime heritage as well as a testament to the region’s biological productivity,” WHOI says.

Researchers say the expedition will explore both aspects of the wreck’s importance and will help document changes that have occurred since its discovery. Researchers hope to gather insight into why the ship sank.

All broadcasts will be 45 minutes long and will include the opportunity to submit questions online or by speaking directly with researchers.

Live stream schedule:

Wednesday, August 26

The Case of the Mystery Schooner: Exploring an Unidentified Shipwreck in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

  • 11:30 a.m. EST: Live classroom broadcast
  • 2:30 p.m. EST: Live on this page and on WHOI Facebook and YouTube
  • 6:30 p.m. EST: Live on this page and on WHOI Facebook and YouTube

Thursday, August 27

The Case of the Mystery Schooner: Exploring an Unidentified Shipwreck in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

  • 11:30 a.m. EST: Live classroom broadcast
  • 2:30 p.m. EST: Live on this page and on WHOI Facebook and YouTube

Learn more about the expedition here

Credit: AP
Newspaper clippings of the day describing the sinking of the steamship Portland in a hurricane in 1898, are displayed at a news conference in Boston, Thursday, Aug. 29, 2002. The wreck was located off the coast of Massachusetts, within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. (AP Photo/Julia Malakie)