Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Action Divers, Dive VIP to sponsor world record deep dive to USS Cooper


by Lamar Bennington
April 24, 2005

USS Cooper.

PUERTO GALERA, Philippines -- Two leading Asia Pacific dive resorts have announced they will sponsor a world-record deep dive attempt to the wreck of the USS Cooper.

Roscoe Thompson of Action Divers and John Barratt of Dive VIP told CDNN their respective companies will combine their expertise to provide logistical support and funding for the technical dive team that will attempt the world-record dive on May 28, 2005 to place a large memorial bronze plaque on the USS Cooper.

If successful, the dive will be the world's deepest scuba dive to a shipwreck.

The USS Cooper sank on December 3, 1944 during the Battle of Ormoc Bay after it was hit by a Japanese torpedo. Of the 359 officers and enlisted personnel aboard the American destroyer, 191 died.

PBY Catalina flying boats dodged heavy fire to rescue 168 crew, some of whom are still alive and planning to be aboard dive support vessels at the Bay of Ormoc on May 28 to pay their last respects to fallen comrades.

Thompson and Barratt emphasized the significance of the dive which aims to honor those who died at the Bay of Ormoc in 1944.

"The USS Cooper is extremely deep and demanding for the technical dive team, which will employ sophisticated diving techniques and utilize cutting edge technical diving equipment to safely complete the dive," Thompson told CDNN. "While any world-record attempt is of considerable interest to the scuba diving community, the true significance of the dive is to honor the 191 men who made the ultimate sacrifice to defeat the Japanese in World War II."

"Absolutely right," agreed Barratt. "This is not about us and if successful, the depth record will be a mere footnote to a dive that aims to express the debt our generation and all future generations owe to those who fought so courageously to defeat the Japanese at Ormoc Bay."

More about the DD-695 USS Cooper
. Allen M. Sumner Class Destroyer:
. Displacement: 2200 tons
. Length: 376'6"
. Beam: 40'10"
. Draft: 15'8"%
. Speed: 35 knots
. Armament: 6 5"/38, 2x5 21" torpedo tubes
. Complement: 345
. High-pressure super-heated boilers, geared turbines with twin screws, 60,000 h.p.
. Built at Federal, Kearny and commissioned 1944


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