The shipwreck at Vernon Basin was possibly a sailing vessel, such as coastal schooner, brig, or small fully-rigged vessel and may have been built between 1840 and 1860. It is wooden with copper sheathing covering the bottom of its hull. The interior of the hull is filled with gravel and lacks any remains of cultural material. The gravel may be indicative of ballast, or the vessel may have been a gravel ship. Burn marks on parts of the wood possibly due to fire suggest the vessel may have been purposely sunk.

NOAA Ocean Exploration rediscovered and explored this shipwreck site in the Vernon Basin on May 16, 2019, at the southern section of the Florida escarpment in the Gulf of Mexico during a shakedown expedition aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer. Remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Deep Discoverer — equipped with an Insight Pacific Zeus Plus camera capable of collecting high-definition footage — was used to document the site, which is at a depth of approximately 560 meters and is approximately 37.8 meters long.

A photogrammetric model of this site made by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) already exists. These two models from NOAA Ocean Exploration are based on the same data using footage from timestamps 20:35 to 23:00. This footage was processed into still images using Photoshop and was color corrected. 4,011 images were used for the two photo models of the site.

The full annotated video of this dive can be viewed on SeaTube.

Site Name: Vernon Basin

Type: UCH

UCH Vessel Date Built: 1840-1860

UCH Vessel Date Sank: Unknown

Hull Material: Wood

Official Number: N/A

Expedition Number: EX1902

Expedition Name: Shakedown and Sea Trials 2019

ROV Dive Number: 03

ROV Dive Date: May 16, 2019

Location: Gulf of Mexico, Florida escarpment

Depth: 560 meters

Length: Approximately 37.8 meters

Width: Unknown

ROV Used: Deep Discoverer

Camera Information: Insight Zeus Plus HD, 3-CCD color camera with 2/3-inch 2,200,000 pixel 1080i IT CCDs

Video or Stills: Video

Number of Images Used/Format: 4,011/JPG

Image Alignment Percentage: 80%

Number of Tie Points: 725,552

Link to Raw Video Footage:

Time to Complete: 7 hours

Orthomosaic Views Available: No

Images Available: Yes

Animations Available: Yes

Available File Exports/Location/POC:

Link to NOAA Ocean Exploration Project Page:

Software: Agisoft Metashape Standard Version 2.0.1.

Developer: Raymond Phipps, NOAA Ocean Exploration explorer-in-training, June 24, 2023.

Credit: Model courtesy of NOAA Ocean Exploration, Shakedown and Sea Trials 2019.