Leave the Hunley Alone?
Research and Re-Bury?
Conserve for Future Generations?
NUMA defined three options for Hunley:
- Leave the submarine undisturbed in its grave, perhaps protecting the site in perpetuity
- Conduct an underwater archaeological survey and other testing, then re-bury the vessel and protect the site
- Recover the vessel and conduct the necessary archaeological and scientific studies and conserve the submarine for future generations.
The third option was chosen for many obvious reasons. With Hunley's location known, it would be almost physically and economically impossible to maintain constant protection against plunderers, storms and other adversaries. Furthermore, few answers would be found through simply documenting the vessel's outer hull because the answers to its greatest mysteries are entombed within the submarine.
Following Through on the Hunley Tradition
Each time the Hunley sank with her crew, she was brought up so that the crew could have a proper burial. And each time, the Hunley was refitted for service. As a result, the mission of Hunley Commission is to make sure the Hunley is brought back to the surface so that this crew have a proper burial and that their vessel be refitted for service. However this time, her service will not only be to educate future generations of her incredible history, but to convey the attributes she symbolizes, including valor, courage, sacrifice, commitment and integrity.
Finding The Hunley
Obstacles to Recovery
A Plan Evolves