Drones offer bird’s-eye glimpse of Md. ‘ghost fleet’ (Videos)

Chesapeake Conservancy and Terrain360 are using drones to give a bird’s-eye tour of historic shipwrecks in an inaccessible zone of the Potomac River.

WASHINGTON — There’s a corner of the Potomac River known as Mallows Bay that is teeming with sunken vessels, what has been described as a “ghost fleet” of more than 100 wrecked ships.

You don’t even have to go beneath the river’s surface to get a good view of these ships. In fact, you don’t even have to leave your computer chair, thanks to the Chesapeake Conservancy’s latest effort.

Through the use of drones, the Annapolis-based nonprofit and Terrain360 created a virtual tour of the shipwrecks, which are in a portion of the river in Charles County, Maryland.

Jody Couser, a spokeswoman for Chesapeake Conservancy, said drones were used to capture aerial videos of the fleet. The footage was posted on the organization’s YouTube channel as a three-clip series Tuesday (Clip 1 | Clip 2 | Clip 3).

This isn’t the first time the organization has put this sort of thing together.

Last year, Chesapeake Conservancy partnered with Terrain360 to create a Google street-view style tour of shipwrecks.

Couser said that Chesapeake Conservancy created this bird’s-eye virtual tour as a way to spark public interest in the site — a locale the group would like to be recognized as the first national marine sanctuary in the Chesapeake Bay. The organization said in a news release that such a designation would “protect this marine landscape for generations to come.”

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