Shipwreck Hunter Cancels Tuesday Talk

Volcanic Ash Cloud, European Air Travel Crisis Strands David Mearns in Norway


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (April 19, 2010) – A lecture by a USF College of Marine Science graduate turned famed shipwreck hunter David Mearns scheduled for Tuesday, April 20, at the Mahaffey Theater has been cancelled due to air travel disruption in Europe caused by the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud.

The presentation has not been rescheduled. Mearns has been stranded in Norway due to the volcanic ash cloud covering northern Europe following last week’s eruption in Iceland. The ash cloud has caused widespread disruption of air travel across Europe.

Mearns, a 1986 master’s degree graduate from USF’s College of Marine Science who has gone on to become known as one of the world most renowned shipwreck hunters, had been scheduled for a public lecture detailing more than 20 famed finds of lost ships, from 16h Century caravel that was part of Vasco de Gama’s fleet to some of the great maritime tragedies of World War II.

Mearns, the president of Bluewater Recoveries, Ltd., most recently led the expedition that found the wreckage of the AHS Centaur, an Australian hospital ship which was sunk by a Japanese submarine in May 1943 off the coast of Queensland.


The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.  USF was awarded $380.4 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2008/2009. The university offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The USF System has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.