Header image for expedition: The Search for SS Norlindo

Expedition Features

The features below will help you to understand the goals and objectives of the expedition and provide additional context and information about the places being explored and the science, tools, and technologies being used.

  • Resuming the Search for SS Norlindo

    During the first expedition to search for SS Norlindo, scientists used autonomous underwater vehicle Eagle Ray to collect bathymetry and backscatter data to identify potential targets that may be the shipwreck.

    April 14 - 22, 2023, the team of scientists from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) will continue their search for the wreck of SS Norlindo on USM’s Research Vessel Point Sur.

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  • The Search for Norlindo – Continued

    By Leila Hamdan and Leonardo Macelloni

    Autonomous underwater vehicle Eagle Ray on the back deck of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Research Vessel Point Sur during the August 2021 search for SS Norlindo. During the January-February search, the team will once again deploy Eagle Ray to collect bathymetry and backscatter data to identify potential targets to later explore using a remotely operated vehicle.

    From January 26 – February 7, 2022, a team of scientists from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) will re-embark on a two-week expedition to search for SS Norlindo, an American steam freighter sunk on May 4, 1942, off of Florida’s Dry Tortugas by the German U-boat U-570.

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  • The Technology of Discovery

    By Leonardo Macelloni and Leila Hamdan

    Eagle Ray ready to be deployed from the deck of NOAA Ship Nancy Foster and on the water before the immersion.

    The areas where the shipwreck Norlindo presumably sank are located between 300 to 1200 meters (985 to 3,940 feet) water depth. These depths are inaccessible for direct human exploration, and thus we rely on advanced technologies including high-resolution sonars, autonomous underwater vehicles, precise positioning, remotely operated vehicles, and communications to put electronic ‘eyes’ on the seabed. Such sensors and platforms now make it possible to obtain completely new insights of the seabed, inclusive of natural environments and ones added by humans, including shipwrecks.

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  • Microbial Ecology and Shipwreck Discovery

    By Leila J Hamdan

    Sediment coring around shipwreck site #15711 during the Microbial Stowaways expedition, supported by NOAA OER, in July 2019.

    Microorganisms are essential to the function, habitability, and biodiversity of all seafloor ecosystems. Due to their small size, they lie invisible in plain sight. Yet they are abundant and present in all habitats on Earth.

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  • Unescorted, Unarmed, and Unaware: The Tragic Loss of the Freighter Norlindo

    By Melanie Damour

    Photo of the freighter Norlindo (previously named Lake Glaucus [1920–1925] and Volusia [1925–1941]).

    On the evening of May 4, 1942, a 254-foot-long, oil-fired steam-propelled freighter cruised offshore of southwest Florida toward Havana, Cuba, unaware of her fate and the part she would play in Gulf of Mexico history.

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  • Found in Translation? Deciphering the Historic Record to Find Norlindo

    By Doug Jones

    Possible Norlindo location.

    When planning the search for Norlindo, our team’s research design initially targeted an area encompassing its last known location, approximately 55 nautical miles to the northwest of Dry Tortugas National Park and the western extent of NOAA’s Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. However, while conducting additional research U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s archaeologists identified several online resources that called into question the accuracy of the freighter’s previously reported sinking location.

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  • The Search for Norlindo – The First World War II Casualty in the Gulf of Mexico: Expedition Plan

    By Leonardo Macelloni, Arne Diercks, and Leila Hamdan

    A test launch of the vehicle in the brackish waters of Pensacola Bay with Arne Diercks in the photo.

    The SS Norlindo, a 2,686-ton and 253-foot-long American steam freighter, was sunk on May 4, 1942, off of the Dry Tortugas by the German U-boat U-507 under command of Korvettenkapitän Harro Schacht.

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