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James Delgado - Legendary Shipwreck Hunter and Underwater Explorer

James P. Delgado, PhD, FRGS, RPA, has led or participated in shipwreck expeditions around the world. His undersea explorations include RMS Titanic, the discoveries of Carpathia, and the notorious “ghost ship” Mary Celeste, as well as surveys of USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, the sunken fleet of atomic-bombed warships at Bikini Atoll, the polar exploration ship Maud and many more. His archaeological work has also included the excavation of ships and collapsed buildings along the now-buried waterfront of Gold Rush San Francisco.

Latest Update: May 2011

James has been working with Fourth Element on a project at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena MI. Here's what he had to say:

"The maritime heritage team has a long and wonderful association with Fourth Element, and recently I had the chance to join Fourth Element's Mike Postons in the field at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The work he accomplished was fast, accurate and powerful as both a tool to guide our investigations and as a means to connect everyone - even the non-divers - to what we were working on. I wish I had the benefit of Fourth Element (and Mike on the team) when I was Sea Hunting with Clive Cussler!" James Delgado

Click here to read more of Peter’s diving career.

James Delgado - Professional History

Dr. Delgado is Director of NOAA’s Maritime Heritage Program. Previously, he was the President and CEO of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University for nearly 5 years, and was the Executive Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum for 15 years. Before that, he was the head of the U.S. Government’s maritime preservation program and was the maritime historian for the U.S. National Park Service. During his nearly 14-year tenure with the VMM, Dr. Delgado co-hosted The Sea Hunters along with best-selling author Clive Cussler, from 2001 to 2006.

Other television credits include specials for the Discovery Channel, National Geographic Explorer, A&E, the History Channel, and ABC. His active participation in the study and preservation of shipwreck sites and maritime heritage has included a founding membership in the International Commission on Monuments and Site (ICOMOS) committee on underwater cultural heritage and the presidency of the Council of American Maritime Museums. He also led the crew that restored Ben Franklin (PX-15), a 130-ton oceanographic research submersible originally built in Switzerland for famed undersea explorer and scientist Jacques Piccard and most famously employed on a historic 30-day “drift mission” along the eastern seaboard of the United States in 1969.

A Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Fellow of the Explorers Club, Dr. Delgado is the author or editor of over 32 books and numerous articles, most recently Nuclear Dawn: The Atomic Bomb from the Manhattan Project to the Cold War (winner of the 2011 Choice Award), Khubilai Khan’s Lost Fleet: In Search of a Legendary Armada (winner of the 2011 Deetz Award), and Gold Rush Port: The Maritime Archaeology of San Francisco’s Waterfront. His books Lost Warships: An Archaeological Tour of War at Sea and Across the Top of the World: The Quest for the Northwest Passage are both international best-sellers published simultaneously in North America and Britain.

Other books include Waterfront: An Illustrated Maritime Story of Greater Vancouver, Adventures of a Sea Hunter: In Search of Famous Shipwrecks, the Encyclopedia of Underwater and Maritime Archaeology; Ghost Fleet: The Sunken Ships of Bikini Atoll, Pearl Harbor Recalled: New Images from the Day of Infamy, Great American Ships, To California by Sea: A Maritime History of the Gold Rush, and three books for children; Wrecks of American Warships, Native American Shipwrecks, and Shipwrecks of the Westward Movement.

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