Jim Delgado, an archeologist, and diver found a magnificent wreck almost 14 years ago. He was on a ship passing the San Telmo Island in Pearl Archipelago, Panama when he came to know that this area was known for a Japanese submarine which sank during the World War II. He was intrigued by the story and the history of the wreck. Delgado decided to initiate a mission to find the submarine. He saw from his ship that something was towering on the island. It was all rusted out and Delgado thought that he had to investigate it.
He managed to find a beached submarine in the area which was mentioned in all the stories that he had heard previously. However, later he found out that the submarine was not Japanese and not from WWII either. The submarine was much older than WWII. Upon finding this, Delgado was much intrigued than ever, so he decided to investigate more on the matter of mysterious submarine.
It took him two years to find the name of the submarine. Delgado’s colleague helped him find an old blueprint from an old 1902 magazine. The magazine stated that there was a wreck near the San Telmo Island. He also found a New York Times article dated 1866 which talked about an event which happened on a New York river. The article stated that Julius Kroehl, who was a German-American, invented one of the first submarines which can fully submerge and travel underwater. It had been testing out his ship in the river when it sunk. If this story was true, then the sunken submarine is Kroehl’s Sub Marine Explorer.
However, if it was Kroehl’s then why would it be in Panama and not in the New York river. After further research, Delgado found that the trial was actually successful and the submarine was then taken to Panama to collect pearls. The submarine lasted few weeks and collected pearls but something went terribly wrong that it was left in the middle of an ocean to rust. In 1869, another New York Times article stated that one of the pearl-harvesting missions brought almost 10 tons of oysters and pearls which were estimated at almost $2000.
During the missions, it was found that all men who were on the submarine caught fever and had decompression sickness. The submarine was declared as harmful to the health of crewmembers. A year after the submarine reached in Panama, Kroehl died from decompression sickness due to diving in the submarine. The submarine was taken to the island where it remained beached till found by Delgado after 130 years.