Well, this might be one of the shortest history lessons we’ve ever done. But it’s supposed to be nice outside today (at least where I am), so I’m figuring you’ll have one eye on the window anyways.
Back in January, we learned about a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress that collided with a tanker during mid-air refueling over the Mediterranean off the coast of Spain. The heavy bomber was carrying a quartet of Mk28 Hydrogen bombs. We learned that three of the bombs fell on Spain itself, while one fell into the Mediterranean. And while there was substantial fallout (both political and radioactive) from those that hit the ground, the bomb that fell into the water certainly wasn’t forgotten.
A search was immediately begun and, exactly two months later, on March 17, 1966, the DSV (Deep Submergible Vehicle) Alvin located the bomb, completely intact, in about 2,500 feet of water. The Alvin’s first attempt to recover the bomb failed when it slipped free, but the Alvin would relocate it two weeks later, and a special recovery vehicle would successfully salvage it. So, while a small area near Palomares, Spain would have to deal with contamination for a very long time, the Mediterranean would be spared a similar fate.
The DSV Alvin has, as deep-sea vehicles go, a rather colorful history. There’s a solid chance we’ll check in on her again.
Recommended Reading: DSV Alvin webpage – Check out all the info about one of the longest-serving submergibles.