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Watch The Sea Hunters online: Episode 2 The Search for the Early Submarines

The Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood was founded in 1858 and was known as the Fenian Brotherhood. This militantly anti-British group waged a propaganda war in the U.S. for Irish Independence and collected money in a Skirmishing Fund intended to support armed activities against British interests. John Hollands brother James was a member of the Fenians, it was through James that the Fenians learned of John Hollands work with submarines. When they approached him he offered to build a submersible warship that could attack and sink British Naval vessels. Holland started his work in1878 and by June of 1881 he had a working 31 ft. submersible that could dive to 50 ft., travel at a surface speed of 9 knots and shoot a dummy warhead from a pneumatic gun to a distance of several hundred yards. His sub was now a formidable new weapon with the potential to inflict heavy damage on the British navy. Concurrent to his work on the Fenian Ram Holland was also constructing a 16 ft., 1 ton model with which he intended to perfect his technical designs for submerged navigation. This fully working model submarine embodied all of Hollands latest and most functional dive and steering mechanisms. Hollands steady progress in improving the Fenian Ram came to an abrupt halt in November 1883. Segments of the Brotherhoods membership locked in a bitter and divisive struggle over the Rams potential for actually harming British vessels and over the expenditures being made from the Skirmish Fund. Late one night in November, fearing that the Ram would be seized in the ongoing legal proceedings, one of the warring factions gained access to Hollands wharf and stole the Fenian Ram and Model #3. They took both vessels in tow but just after passing under the Whitestone Bridge, at the Mouth of the East River, Model #3 foundered, took on water, snapped her tow line and sunk in 110 ft. of water. The Sea Hunters, working with Dr. Pete Capelloti, Chief Historian, U.S. Coast Guard, gain permission to side scan and dive on the South end of Manhattan Island, between the Whitestone and Throgs Neck Bridges. They will search for the lost Holland designed Model #3. The Sea Hunters will first undertake a side scan sonar survey and then dive and ground truth targets located in the search area. The side scan and dive footage will by turned over to the U.S. Coast Guard and to the newly formed Office of Homeland Security. With the New York City skyline in the background "The Sea Hunters" dive team will search for this historic submarine while collecting underwater data which will be used to make New York safer from the threat of terrorist attack.

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