Item 2005.002.03.012 - Breadalbane RPV [Remotely Piloted Vehicle] dive #2, tape 1-3 [unedited]

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Breadalbane RPV [Remotely Piloted Vehicle] dive #2, tape 1-3 [unedited]

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  • Moving images

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  • September 7, 1985 (Creation)
    MacInnis, Joseph B.

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Physical description

3 videocassettes (ca. 6 hr): VHS, col., si., ; VHS, col., sd., ; 3/4" U-matic

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Dr. Joe MacInnis, C.M. MD. FRCP. (Hon) LLD. (Hon), earned a medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1962 and was awarded a research position at the University of Pennsylvania to begin what would become his pursuit for the following three decades: the study of the physiology and psychology of men and women in undersea conditions. Between 1964 and 1970 he worked as the medical director of Ocean Systems Inc., the world's largest diving and underwater engineering company. In 1970, Dr. MacInnis participated in the research and writing of Canada's first national ocean policy. During this time, he initiated the first of eleven diving expeditions to study the systems and techniques needed to work safely under the ice in the near-freezing waters of the Arctic Ocean. In the next decade, his team would make more than 1,000 dives and construct the world's first undersea polar station, the Sub-Igloo.
In 1978 Dr. MacInnis led the team that discovered, explored, and filmed the HMS Breadalbane, a three-masted British barque crushed by the ice in the Northwest Passage in 1853. Located in 340 feet of water 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the HMS Breadalbane is the world's northernmost known shipwreck. Shortly after the discovery of the Breadalbane, Dr. MacInnis turned his attention to the most infamous shipwreck of all - the Titanic. He made two dives to the bow and stern of the Titanic between 1985 and 1991, and was co-leader of the two million dollar project to film the ship in IMAX format. In 2005, he joined James Cameron on a dive that produced a 90 minute live broadcast from some of the last unseen rooms of the ship.

Dr. MacInnis is involved in a number of community service projects that reflect the wide range of his interests, supporting both scientific and artistic ingenuity and the protection of the environment. He has been awarded five honorary doctorates, the Queen's Anniversary Medal, the Admiral's Medal and the country's highest honour, the Order of Canada. He regularly lectures on topics of leadership and teamwork, and continues to publish on his underwater discoveries.

For additional biographical information, see

Custodial history

Scope and content

Captured May 9, 1981, in the Arctic Ocean in Canada's North West Passage. This recording is raw underwater footage of the Breadalbane shipwreck captured using a remote piloted vehicle (RPV, otherwise known as ROV, remote operated vehicle). This recording is almost enirely of the Breadalbane and inhabiting aquatic life. This recording is part of the Breadalbane series of tapes and therefore probably taken at the Breadalbane site in 1981 during an expedition to document and record the shipwreck by Dr. Joe MacInnis and his team. The HMS Breadalbane sunk on August 21 1853 in the Canadian Arctic. It was a British re-supply vessel that was to be the last great search for the Franklin Expedition that disappeared in 1846 in search for the North West Passage. Despite the fact that the ship took only 15 minutes to sink after colliding with ice, all men were rescued aboard the Phoenix, which was traveling with the Breadalbane. The Breadalbane shipwreck was discovered in August of 1980, by Dr. Joe MacInnis and his team, during their 3rd search expedition.

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Donation from Dr. Joe MacInnis.


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Two copies of each VHS tapes were donated, 1 original and 1 duplicate.

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Viewing access within Ryerson University Library or by permission.

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General note

Notes from initial viewing of tape 1: -in color, alternates sporadically between b&w and color with greenish tint; with timecode in bottom right of screen.
-ship's deck; man in blue parka, crew on deck; lowering RPV into water; 'BENTHOC' (sp) lighting system (?)
-travelling along ocean floor, dirt bottom, clouds of plankton (?)
-close-up of RPV; Breadalbane's mast on ocean floor with orange coral growths; sea creatures (coral, anemone, shrimp, starfish) inhabiting shipwreck

Credits note

Notes from initial viewing of tape 2: green underwater view of Breadalbane shipwreck
-orange coral growing on shipwreck
-plants and creatures of Arctic sea: plankton, bio-luminescent comb jellies, swimming snails, sea stars, shrimp, sea anemones, ringed seals
-Shot of the RPV itself

Accompanying material

Tape #1 and #2 are on VHS. Tape #3 is on U-matic. Each tape is approximately 2 hours.

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