Photo of RV Ben Franklin lifted from deck.

Type: Medium Submergence Vessel
Length: 50 feet
Displacement: 130 tons
Design Depth: 2,000 feet (max. operational depth)
Displacement: 130 tons
Operating Crew: 2 crew and 4 scientists
Submerged Endurance: 10 hours at 4 knots
Buoyancy Control: Steel shot and water ballast

Vancouver Maritime Museum
1905 Ogden Avenue
Vancouver, British Columbia V6J 1A3
(604) 257-8300
Fax: (604) 737-2621
Email: [email protected]
Latitude: 49.2777648811, Longitude: -123.147733469
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RV Ben Franklin was built between 1966 and 1968 in Switzerland for deep ocean explorer Jacques Piccard and the Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation. She was christened "America's largest submersible". Her namesake, American patriot and inventor Ben Franklin, was the first to map the Gulf Stream and gave it its name.

The submersible made a famous 30-day drift dive off the East Coast of the United States and Canada in 1969, mapping the Gulf Stream's currents and sea life. She also made space exploration history by studying the behavior of aquanauts in a sealed, self-contained, self-sufficient capsule for NASA.

During Ben Franklin's career, she was also involved in acoustic, marine biological, chemical and other experiments as well as deep water salvage operations, pollution studies, photo mapping of the sea floor and ocean environment research for the U.S. Navy. She was donated to the Vancouver Maritime Museum by Horton Trading Company in December 1999.

Side photo of RV Ben Franklin being lifted from deck.

Photo of crew standing on deck of RV Ben Franklin while in the water.

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