Divers Plan Survey Of Civil War Ironclad Off Coast

Divers plan to survey the Civil War ironclad USS Monitor off the North Carolina coast this week with high-definition cameras to look for deterioration in the nearly 150-year-old underwater wreckage.

Jeff Johnston of the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary said Monday the expedition hopes for good weather to allow maximum dives into the 230-foot-deep waters some 16 miles off Cape Hatteras.

Divers ran into tricky currents Sunday and couldn't launch a robotic sub to survey the wreckage.

The dive is under the umbrella of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, but includes private divers and a team from Rutgers University.

The Monitor is considered the precursor of the modern Navy because of its armor and revolving turret. It sank while being towed to Beaufort in 1862.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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