“It's been great working with your staff on land and in the water. Everybody from SEARCH that has been out here has been very professional and a lot of fun to work with.”  - Ronnie Rogers, Historic Preservation Officer, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands


Maritime Archaeology


SEARCH has the highest-capacity maritime archaeology division in the country, and we have the capability to conduct major projects, multiple simultaneous projects, emergency response mobilizations, and remote long-term deployments. Our Maritime staff includes USACE-certified divers and experts in historic shipwrecks, submerged prehistoric resources, remote sensing, conservation, GIS, and dive safety.


SEARCH Maritime Archaeologists are responsible for large-scale projects including the maritime archaeology documentation for the US Navy’s East Coast, West Coast, and Mediterranean TAP EIS programs, BOEM Pacific Historic Submerged Cultural Resource Inventory, Roosevelt Inlet Shipwreck Data Recovery, Ferry Ellis Island Data Recovery, WWII Saipan Invasion Beaches Survey, MV Mississippi IV Museum Development, Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Response, and Super Storm Sandy Response. Additionally, SEARCH Maritime Archaeologists have individual experience working on the nation’s most important submerged cultural resources including the CSS Hunley, CSS Alabama, USS Westfield, and CSS Georgia, as well as manning a submersible and ROV to document the RMS Titanic.


SEARCH owns advanced maritime equipment to improve data accuracy, accelerate service delivery, and increase staff safety. This equipment includes Marine Magnetics magnetometers; EdgeTech 4125, Klein 3000, and Imagenex side-scan sonar systems; SyQwest Stratabox sub-bottom profiler; Trimble Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS); Kirby-Morgan SuperLite surface-supplied air systems; and KMACS 2A dive-control system. SEARCH utilizes Hypack navigation software for project planning, survey, and data analysis as well as Chesapeake Technology SonarWiz 5 for side-scan sonar analysis and mosaicking.


For more information, please contact Jason Burns, Maritime Archaeology Division Leader at jason@searchinc.com / 850-607-2846, or any of the POCs at SEARCH’s offices.  


The SEARCH Maritime Archaeology Division maintains a perfect safety record and:

  • USACE Dive Safety Program Certification
  • American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) Organizational Member
  • AAUS Scientific Diver Certification
  • NOAA Reciprocity for Dive Safety Program
  • Jones Act Insurance
  • US Longshoremen’s and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Insurance 

Maritime Archaeological Services

Above Water
  • Submerged Shipwreck Analysis
  • Onshore Shipwreck Analysis
  • Shipwreck Debris Analysis
  • Shipwreck Probability Analysis
  • Submerged Prehistoric Probability Analysis
  • Geomorphological Analysis
  • Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction
  • Laboratory Analysis
  • Data Processing and Analysis
  • Artifact Conservation
  • Illustration
  • Curation
  • High-Density Laser Scanning
  • Side-Scan Sonar Mosaics
  • Submerged Cultural Resource GIS
  • Database Construction
  • Emergency Response
  • Training
  • Acquisition of Permits
  • Section 106 Compliance
  • NRHP Nominations
  • Creative Alternatives to Mitigation
  • Intertidal Cultural Resources Analysis
  • Historic Waterfront Structure/Site Analysis
  • Vibracore and Borehole Analysis
  • Dive Safety Plans:
  • Safe Practices Manual
  • Dive Operations Plan
  • Emergency Management Plan
  • Activities Hazard Analysis Plan
  • Maritime History:
  • Archival/Historical Research
  • Oral History
  • Paleography
  • Maritime Museums, Exhibits, and Media:
  • Public Interpretation
  • Education
  • Underwater Documentaries
  • Museum Design and Support
  • Exhibit Creation
  • Virtual Tours
  • Underwater Tours
  • Digital Media
  • Graphic Design

On Water

  • Remote Sensing Surveys:
  • Sub-bottom Profiler
  • Magnetometer
  • Side-Scan Sonar
  • Fathometer
  • Sector-Scanning Sonar
  • Multibeam Sonar
  • Hazard/Obstruction Surveys
  • Search and Relocate
  • Monitoring
  • Oil Spill Response
  • Ride-Along Surveys

Under Water

  • Diver Investigation:
  • Surface-Supplied Air
  • SCUBA
  • Rapid Diver
  • Monitoring
  • ROV Operation
  • Submerged Historic Resource Investigation
  • Submerged Prehistoric Resource Investigation
  • Springs Assessment
  • Vibratory and Borehole Coring
  • Ground-Truthing of Underwater Anomalies
  • Sector-Scanning Sonar
  • Phase I Archaeological Survey
  • Phase II Evaluation
  • Phase III Recovery and Mitigation