Yellow submarine canvassing sunken piece of state history

Yellow submarine canvassing sunken piece of state history
PORT TOWNSEND, Wash. -- There's a yellow submarine in the water off Fort Worden in Jefferson County.

It's an Everett-based sub that's mapping and filming a bit of Washington state history: the sinking of the SS Governor in 1921.

As it heads toward a dock at Fort Worden, it looks like some sort of weird jet ski. But what you are looking at is the Blue View, a yellow submarine.

It's the creation of Pete Hoffman. He built it out of pieces of a North Sea oil inspection sub.

"The opportunity to buy the complete sub presented itself and through a series of mishaps, I ended up with it. I had no money but a 32,000-pound sub in the garage," Hoffman said.

The sub once was a dinghy mounted at the stern of a Russian super-yacht. But Hoffman says now it's doing what it should be doing, working with Everett-based Ocean Gate.

On Wednesday, it was 240 feet down in the waters off Port Townsend, surveying the wreckage of the SS Governor. The passenger liner went down after a collision with a freighter 90 years ago. It wasn't the easiest of dives.

"When we got down there, the current was a little too strong for us to make any headway. So we had to set it down on the bottom and wait it out," said sub pilot Randy Holt.

The sub will give us 3D pictures of history. It's also practicing for a dive in California.

"We are going down to a shipwreck called the Montebello, which went down in 1941 down near Cambria in Morro Bay," said Guillermo Sohnlein.

The Montebello was torpedoed in December 1941. It's in 900 feet of water. That about the sub's limit, but no one is concerned. They say the sub proved itself here in Jefferson County.

The dive around here in a little tricky. I am told the currents around here are so strong they can do the dive only twice a year.

When the sub arrives in San Francisco, one of the people who'll get a tour is a 92-year-old man who is believed to be the last living survivor of the attack on Montebello.