Drain the Oceans is an ongoing series on National Geographic Television and their upcoming episode will explore the unfolding history of the Hunley. The show’s production team was recently onsite at Clemson University’s Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston interviewing experts about the latest discoveries emerging from their research on the 19th-century submarine.

The Hunley made history in 1864 when it became the world’s first successful combat submarine.  Shortly after accomplishing that feat, the Hunley and her eight-man crew mysteriously vanished.  Lost at sea for over a century, she was found in 1995 by an expedition funded by New York Times best-selling author Clive Cussler.  After years of developing an in-depth recovery plan, the Hunley was raised in 2000 with the crew’s remains and personal belongings still inside.  Since then, a team of international scientists have been working to excavate and conserve the Hunley and use the evidence they have collected along the way to discover her true history.   

The documentary will debut on July 22nd and will rerun regularly.  Please check your local listings for when you can watch this exciting program.   

Watch this trailer for the Drain the Ocean series that will feature the Hunley.

Drain the Oceans:


Maritime mysteries -- old and new -- come to life in this 10-episode series, combining scientific data and digital re-creations to reveal shipwrecks, treasures, and sunken cities on the bottom of lakes, seas and oceans around the world. Innovative technology allows viewers to see what lies on the floors of large bodies of water such as the Gulf of Mexico, the Nile, the Indian Ocean, the Baltic Sea and the Atlantic Ocean as if they had been drained. Then, in a quest to explain natural wonders and man-made catastrophes, stories tell of how vessels sank, what ancient geological formations reveal about life on Earth, where Nazi secrets now reside, and why so many continue to search for the legendary city of Atlantis.

The Hunley Project

On the evening of February 17, 1864, the H. L. Hunley became the world’s first successful combat submarine by sinking the USS Housatonic. After signaling to shore that the mission had been accomplished, the submarine and her crew of eight mysteriously vanished. Lost at sea for over a century, the Hunley was located in 1995 by Clive Cussler’s National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA). The innovative hand-cranked vessel was raised in 2000 and delivered to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, where an international team of scientists are at work to conserve the submarine for future generations and piece together clues to solve the mystery of her disappearance. The Hunley Project is conducted through a partnership with the Clemson University Restoration Institute, South Carolina Hunley Commission, Naval History and Heritage Command, Charleston Naval Complex Redevelopment/Naval Base Museum Authority, and Friends of the Hunley.

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