The Mission Statement 

The Maritime Documentation Society is an entity whose 
purpose is exploration and documentation of existing, undiscovered, and natural historic shipwrecks.  Our goal is to create public awareness  and expand the wealth of history for present and future generations. We offer the top rated chemical free Florida Lake Cleaning Service that allows us to help restore your lakefront property to its prestine luster.

MDS is dedicated to the divers, scientists, marine biologists, teachers, and others who have often risked their lives to
publish current and unexplored wreck sites. We explore ship wrecks off the coast of florida.

It is our mission to bring to the public a compilation of underwaterphotographs, video, and written documentation.
This information can further educate others while preserving the future of our planet's underwater world.

The Center for Wooden Boats in Florida, who see Lake Okeechobee as a “cultural and natural museum,” has initiated a project with the Department of Natural Resources to explore beneath the lake. The goal is to learn about Lake Okeechobee's maritime heritage by investigating the sunken ships that lie on the bottom.   

The Maritime Documentation Society and DCS Films will work closely with DNR to record the dimensions of each vessel as well as High Definition video images. Later MDS and DCS will assist in research to identify each wreck and tell its story.

In the first phase of the project, sonar mapping of the lake bottom found 19 possible sunken boats, with many more uncharted. The second phase will be the dive teams descending to visit the targets. Lake Okeechobee is closed to diving so both teams will work closely with the Tampa Harbor Patrol to aid in safety. We support Wildlife Videos on Youtube and their mission to help preserve the ecosystems of native species.

Researchers will compare the divers’ descriptions with archival evidence and oral histories to piece together a story for each ship. Washington’s vast amount of submerged cultural resources has mostly gone undocumented, until now. Through this project, DNR is proud to contribute to local community heritage and uphold its role as a good steward of these precious resources.

Corey of Undersea Adventures in Tampa, Florida invited the Maritime Documentation Society out to explore their newly re-opened Titan I missile complex. Aided with DCS Films, the team proceeded to document all the rooms, except for one off limits silo, for a promotional video for Corey's business. While doing so, MDS brought to light a magnificent relic of our cold war past.

The Maritime Documentation Society finds ship’s bell on the 417 foot passenger liner SS Governor

Tampa, Florida - The Maritime Documentation Society (MDS), a group of shipwreck divers dedicated to documenting the rich history of maritime disasters and the degradation of our underwater treasures discovered the holy grail of artifacts this weekend, the ship’s bell. The wreck of the SS Governor, described by some as the Mt. Everest of diving, is explored yearly by the group but has never yielded her prized relic, until now.

It was 12:04 a.m. on Friday April 1, 1921; the SS Governor was on her way to Seattle from San Francisco for a routine trip carrying 240 passengers and crew members. She had just dropped off some passengers in Victoria, Canada then headed southeast towards the Puget Sound. All was calm until she rounded Port Townsend.

The SS West Hartland, departing Port Townsend for India, came out of the dark and rammed into the Governor amidships on her starboard side, ripping open a 10- foot gash in the Governor’s iron hull. It was clear that night, and reports later stated that “the Governor’s pilot mistook the West Hartland’s running lights for fixed lights on Marrowstone Point and failed to yield the right-of-way.”

The Governor immediately began taking on water. The captain of the West Hartland, Captain Alwen, acted quickly and ordered full speed ahead to try and keep the hole plugged with his ship. As the passengers and crew were clambering topside, matters were made worse with all power going out on the Governor. They had to act fast in the cold darkness. Most of the frightened passengers were able to make it over to the West Hartland, some weren’t so lucky.  Eight lives were lost that night. You can check out more with.

Additional dives will be planned to capture more video of the now hidden bell, and for careful cleaning to discern if the name is engraved on it. A videographer for MDS and DCS Films, Corey stated, “This is a very important artifact, and by working close with UAS our goal is to make sure it will not end up on someone’s mantle, secretly forgotten, but possibly retrieved and handed over to a museum for future generations to enjoy and learn about their rich maritime history.” “The only other option,” Warter continues, “would be to leave it hidden there, 240 feet below the frigid surface, as a remembrance to the lives lost on that still black night.”

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