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  March 1, 2004

Shipwreck Research To Feature
In Discovery Channel Documentary

UConn's role in investigating one of New England's great maritime mysteries will be told in a documentary to air on Discovery's Science Channel on Friday, March 5, from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The steamship Portland sank off the Massachusetts coast during a November storm in 1898, killing 192 passengers and crew.

In 2002, scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration partnered with UConn's National Undersea Research Center to confirm the wreck's location. The group returned to the site last fall and conducted a comprehensive survey of the wreck, relying on the center's underwater remotely operated vehicle.

Ivar Babb, director of the center and a key organizer of the project, says he and the team were "thrilled with the sharp, vivid images collected from the wreckage." Cameras captured remnants of the ship's galley, a storeroom, the bow, and even some pieces of fine china.

Babb and members of the center's technical staff and the ship's crew will appear in the documentary. "The Wreck of the Portland" uses footage from the 2003 expedition, with additional video shot on board the University's research vessel during a mission last fall on Long Island Sound.

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