The De Soto Canyon wreck’s wooden hull frames as observed during the 2012 R/V Falkor investigation of the site using the DSSI Global Explorer ROV.
The De Soto Canyon Wreck was first identified as a possible shipwreck during a 2012 AUV survey by C&C Technologies for Shell Oil in the De Soto Canyon leasing area. The sonar target measured approximately 77 ft. (23.4) in length by 23 ft. (7 m) in width with a maximum relief of less than 3 ft. (1 m) off the seafloor. It appeared to represent the partially buried remains of a wooden-hulled sailing ship. Later in 2012, the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor conducted a brief ROV investigation of this sonar target for BOEM. Using Deep Sea Systems International’s Global Explorer ROV, the investigation confirmed that the sonar target was indeed a historic shipwreck. Artifacts such as glass bottles were observed along with partially exposed wooden frames. Based on this limited investigation, the site appears to pre-date the 19th century and could date possibly as early as the late 17th century. This wreck lies in more than 7,500 ft. of water, southeast and downslope of the Macondo wellhead.