The Hunley Recovery Project
Federal, state, and private sector underwater archaeologists teamed with engineers and divers from Oceaneering International to excavate and recover the H.L. Hunley. Oceaneering, a marine engineering company, has done recovery work on the USS Monitor and NASA's Liberty Bell 7 space capsule.
In mid-summer 2000, the team excavated the sub and supported it with a continuous series of slings attached to a specially built recovery frame. Each sling had a load cell to provide constant computerized monitoring of the hull stresses during recovery operations. Finally, the Hunley was raised from its resting place and transported to a conservation facility in North Charleston, where the delicate work of conservation and preservation will continue for years.
The Hunley Recovery Project represents a model of public/private partnership and interagency cooperation to preserve a national treasure. The Friends of the Hunley, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the Hunley complete its historic journey home, have spearheaded fundraising for the recovery and conservation. Major funding has also been provided by the Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program and the State of South Carolina.