David Louis Mearns, born circa 1958, is an American-born marine scientist and deep water search and recovery expert, long resident in Britain. He is famous for locating the wrecks of several ships lost during World War II. Mearns and his company, Blue Water Recoveries Limited, are in the Guinness World Records for the deepest shipwreck ever found, the German blockade runner Rio Grande, which was located at a depth of 5,762 metres (18,904 ft).
In 2008, Mearns led a search team to find the Australian cruiser HMAS Sydney and the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran, which both sank following a mutually destructive engagement off Western Australia in 1941. Prior to finding HMAS Sydney, Mearns said that it was, in some ways, "bigger than the Titanic" because of what it meant to Australia. "Nothing comes close to the Sydney."
He has been responsible for the discovery of 21 major shipwrecks, including:
- the British Battlecruiser HMS Hood
- Lucona, sunk in 1977 by a bomb planted by Udo Proksch, as part of an insurance fraud
- Derbyshire, an ore-bulk-oil carrier which disappeared in 1980
- Mearns, David and White, Rob, 1945- Hood and Bismarck. Channel 4, London, 2001.
- Mearns, David L., The search for the Sydney. HarperCollins Publishers, Pymble, N.S.W, 2009.
- "'I'll find HMAS Sydney'". Sunday Telegraph via news.com.au. 2006-11-12. Retrieved 2008-09-01.
- Fraser, Andrew (21 December 2009). "Discovery proves maligned navigator got it right". The Australian. p. 3. Retrieved 21 December 2009.
- Smith, Aaron (4 November 2010). "Shipwreck finder gets honorary OAM". Australian Geographic. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
- "Modern king of the shipwreck hunters". Herald Sun (Melbourne). 18 March 2008. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
- Blue Water Recoveries (official website)
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