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NPS Reissues Permits for Limited Escorted Technical Diving At the B-29 Superfortress Bomber Submerged Site 27-08

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Date: May 31, 2008
Contact: Roxanne Dey, 702.293.8691

Two Companies Awarded Limited Commercial Service Authorizations

The National Park Service has awarded two companies limited Commercial Use Authorizations (CUAs) for guided technical scuba diving at the B-29 Superfortress Bomber site, where the remains of a downed World War II vintage bomber are located in the Overton Arm of Lake Mead National Recreation Area. The two companies are:

  • Scuba Training and Technology Inc./Technical Diving Limited, based in Lake Havasu City, AZ media contact:  Joel Silverstein, phone:  928.855.9400      website:  divetheb29.com
  • Xtreme Scuba, based in Ventura, CA media contact:  Richard Graff, phone:  805.642.0477 website:  xtremescuba.com

Working with one of these companies on an escorted dive is the only way qualified technical divers can dive the B-29 site. The site remains closed to the general public.

Superintendent William K. Dickinson said, “The NPS has reached out to members of the local, regional, and national dive community to work collaboratively on a management plan that allows the public to experience the amazing history of this site while protecting it for future generations as part of a comprehensive site stewardship plan.  The site has been determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. This limited commercial service will be authorized for one year during which time the NPS will assess the effectiveness of the permit holders to preserve and properly manage the B-29 site.  We want qualified divers to be able to explore the site, but they must do so responsibly.”

The B-29 Superfortress was one of the first high-altitude heavy bombers and was reported to have carried equipment specifically designed for what was once a top-secret mission of atmospheric research.  Because there are few examples of the B-29 left in existence this aircraft is a very significant cultural resource.   The National Park Service has worked with its Submerged Resource Center since 2003 to do a full condition assessment, site documentation, additional inventory work and analysis (including corrosion studies) on the plane in its current setting. Established in 1980, the Center was the first underwater archaeology team in the federal government.  They have conducted surveys in more than 120 units throughout the National Park System using minimum impact techniques to collect data without harming underwater resources. The NPS Submerged Resources Center has been featured for its work on the B-29 in Smithsonian magazine and Public Television as well as on the Discovery and History channels.

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