Saturday, February 24, 2024

This underwater archaeologist will discuss his Yorktown discovery at the Williamsburg Library

(WYDaily/Courtesy of Williamsburg Regional Library)
(WYDaily/Courtesy of Williamsburg Regional Library)

The Williamsburg Regional Library will be hosting world-renowned underwater archaeologist John Broadwater for a talk about one of his most recent and intriguing discoveries — one that happens to be located in Yorktown.

Broadwater, of JRS Explorations, Inc., has a long career in underwater exploration. He explored the wreckage of the Titanic as chief underwater archaeologist for James Cameron’s Ghosts of the Abyss, a 2003 documentary that Cameron undertook after the record-breaking success of his 1997 romantic epic Titanic, according to a news release from the library.

Broadwater was also hired by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to serve as chief underwater archaeologist in an expedition to retrieve the booster engines from rockets used in the Apollo moon program.

Closer to home, Broadwater oversaw salvage work on the U.S.S. Monitor, leading seven dives to recover the ship’s turret and other pieces of the famed Civil War-era ironclad ship, which are now housed at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News. He has spent over four decades exploring the York River, helping to locate numerous British ships sunk in its waters, library officials said.

Broadwater’s upcoming talk at the library will focus on one of his more recent discoveries: the remains of a British ship sunk during the siege of Yorktown in 1781.

Attendees will learn about the shipwreck itself, the equipment used in the latest surveys of the battle site, and plans for future exploration.

Broadwater will also discuss how this finding resulted in a new understanding of how one of the last major battles of the Revolutionary War actually went down.

“Dr. Broadwater is one of the foremost experts in his field, and it’s an amazing thing for us to be able to bring someone of his renown and expertise to our library,” said Melissa Simpson, Williamsburg Regional Library’s adult services director. “This talk is a can’t miss opportunity for anyone with an interest in archaeology, shipwrecks, or local history.”

The lecture will take place on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Williamsburg Library Theatre.

Admission is free, but tickets are required and are available now through WRL’s Program Services desk, which can be reached at 757-259-4070. There is a limit of two per person.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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