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PBS preps deep sea investigation “USS Indianapolis Live”

American pubcaster PBS will provide viewers with an hour-long live exploration of the wreckage from a World War II heavy cruiser that’s rested at the bottom of the North Pacific Ocean ...
September 11, 2017

American pubcaster PBS will provide viewers with an hour-long live exploration of the wreckage from a World War II heavy cruiser that’s rested at the bottom of the North Pacific Ocean since its sinking more than 72 years ago.

Hosted by Emmy-winning journalist Miles O’Brien from a New York studio, USS Indianapolis Live – From the Deep will provide viewers never-before-seen video and images of the Fifth Fleet’s naval flagship from a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Robert Kraft, Vulcan’s director of subsea operations, will provide live narration.

O’Brien, meanwhile, will be joined in studio by experts and scientists to provide in-depth analysis on what viewers are seeing in real-time, while also discussing the history of the ship, its missions and crew, its sinking and the significance of the expedition.

The sinking of the USS Indianapolis on July 30, 1945, led to greatest loss of life from a single ship in U.S. naval history after the vessel was hit by two torpedoes from an Imperial Japanese Navy submarine. The ship, which had earlier delivered components for the atomic bomb ‘Little Boy’, sank in the waters of the Philippines within 12 minutes and subsequently killed 879 of the 1,196 crewmen aboard.

The one-hour special is produced by Vulcan Productions and Miles O’Brien Productions – with physical production services provided by Peacock Productions.

USS Indianapolis Live – From the Deep premieres Sept. 13 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on PBS stations and digital platforms.

Vulcan’s Carole Tomko and Rocky Collins serve as executive producers alongside Peacock’s Lloyd Fales and Steven Flisler, who are overseeing the in-studio elements.

“The fact that the mystery has been solved and the wreckage of the USS Indianapolis has been found after 72 years is amazing,” said Beth Hoppe, chief programming executive and GM for general audience programming at PBS, in a statement. “Equally amazing is that the video feed from the ROV will allow PBS viewers to see what the expedition crew sees three miles below on the ocean floor. The use of this technology powerfully connects us to what happened in 1945, allowing us to reflect on the sacrifice of the hundreds of men who lost their lives in the defense of our nation.”

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