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  • Writer's pictureMikko Paasi

Return to USS Lagarto (SS-371)

Updated: Jul 3, 2020

The USS Lagarto was sunk in international waters in the Gulf of Siam in 1945 with the loss of 86 United States serviceman. The wrecksite was discovered in 2005 in a depth of 75 metres. The present condition of the wreck is unknown with no reported visits to the site in the last 5 years.

The present project aims to undertake a survey of the wrecksite to create an-up-to date site inspection report and to commemorate the sinking of the vessel on its 75th anniversary. This project will involve the video and photographic survey of the wreck by technical divers under the direction of a professional maritime archaeologist. In this way, data will be gathered that will be used to understand the current condition of the site aiding Naval History and Heritage Command in their ability to manage the wreck. Additionally, the photographs and videos will provide those who will never be able to visit the site with a greater appreciation of wreck, especially in relation to the 75th anniversary of its sinking. Finally, this project aims to create a 3D photogrammetric model of the wrecksite that will aid in its interpretation for both management and public outreach purposes.


The wreck of the USS Lagarto lies in 78 meters of water 120 nautical miles from eastern Thailand in international waters in the Gulf of Thailand (Figure 1).

The wreck was discovered in 2005 by Jamie MacLeod, Stewart Owhl and the crew of MV Trident Shipwreck Research Vessel. Over four dives they gathered information to create site plans and they published the following description on


  • Relocate the wreck site

  • Pre-disturbance video and photographic survey

  • Removal of fishing nets

  • Video and photographic survey

  • Photogrammetry

  • Commemorate the 75th anniversary of the sinking

  • Preliminary wreck inspection report

  • Final wreck inspection report

  • Public outreach presentations

Authorised research team members

  • Mikko Paasi, Project Leader (Koh Tao Divers)

  • Matt Carter, Principal Investigator (Major Project Foundation)

  • Erik Brown, Research diver (Hydronauts Diving)

  • Jeffrey Glenn, Research diver (Gopro-Asia)

  • Ben Reymenants, Research diver (Blue Label Diving)

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