Rob Kraft is Vulcan’s director of subsea operations. (Image © 2019 Navigea Ltd. / R/V Petrel)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The voyages of the R/V Petrel, funded by the late Seattle billionaire Paul Allen, are the focus of a National Geographic documentary premiering on Monday – and as a prelude to the show, the leader of the Petrel team is talking about what it takes to find historic shipwrecks in the Pacific.

“Our missions have led to discovery of over 30 historically significant shipwrecks, diverse ecosystems and encounters with rare marine species,” Rob Kraft, Vulcan’s director of subsea operations, says in an online Q&A. “The environment we operate in brings inherent dangers, challenges and risk that most people will never experience.”

That all sounds like a natural fit for the next episode of “Drain the Oceans,” a National Geographic series that delves into what we’d find beneath the waves if the world’s oceans could magically disappear.

“Pacific War Megawrecks” focuses on the Petrel’s discovery of the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier that sank in 1942 during the Battle of the Coral Sea; and of the USS Indianapolis, a Navy cruiser that delivered parts of the Hiroshima atomic bomb in 1945 but was sunk before the bomb was dropped.