Historic Submarine Gets Refurbished

Written by Judy Salamacha

July 31, 2023

Rich Pescatore, member of the Morro Bay Maritime Museum Board of Trustees, with Danyelle Owens, assistant program manager at the Ludwick Family Foundation.

Wowzer! Visitors knew the submarine fronting the Embarcadero entrance to the Morro Bay Maritime Museum was humongous and attractive, but who knew it was green and gorgeous! 

The Deep Submergence Rescue Vehicle (DSRV) Avalon is one of two machines built to rescue the crews of downed submarines. Once deployed in 1971, the rescue vehicle completed several exploratory missions following the USS Thresher accident in April 1963, while the US Navy developed strategies for a new and improved submarine rescue system. 

MBMM is proud to be the custodian of such an important and rare piece of US Naval History and maritime technology for the past ten years. 

“A generous grant provided by the Ludwick Family Foundation of Glendora, CA allowed the museum to complete its Avalon Preservation Project,” said Rich Pescatore, a member of the Morro Bay Maritime Museum Board of Trustees “The refreshed paint not only restores the splendor of this unique vessel, but it will help preserve it from the elements so that the public can enjoy the Avalon at its best.” Restoration specialist Bill Haynes sailed down from his home in Oregon spending more than two months living onboard his boat in Morro Bay’s harbor while completing the job. 

Pescatore reported that the work received positive comments from Naval History and Heritage Command, which is responsible for the preservation, analysis, and dissemination of U.S. naval history and heritage located at the historic Washington Navy Yard. “Several Navy veterans who were familiar with the Avalon when it was active have been by the museum and noted how beautifully she has been restored,” Pescatore said.

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