Robert J WalkerOn June 21, 2013, the officers and crew of the NOAA survey ship Thomas Jefferson -- which was conducting post-Sandy surveys in the area of the Walker collision -- held a wreath-tossing ceremony to honor the 20 men who died in 1860. The ship’s hydrographers did not know the exact location of the wreck, so the wreath was laid in the general area.

That same day, the Thomas Jefferson┬ásearched for the Walker wreck. Survey technicians used multibeam and side scan sonar to look at likely locations determined by historical analysis. In short order, the ship’s hydrographers had 80 percent certainty they found the Walker, but it needed to be confirmed and documented. A couple of days later, a dive team from NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries confirmed the wreck’s identity.

See Rediscovering the Robert J. Walker for the diving expedition videos and more history. NOAA formally announced the Walker wreck confirmation on August 27, 2013.