Happy 63rd Birthday to Vice President and director Guy Zajonc! From visiting the RMS Titanic to the investigating Amelia Earhart’s final flight and so much more, it’s been an amazing career for this Endurance team member.
Guy Zajonc (last name rhymes with Science) is the former President and CEO of Five by Five Media, Inc. He has also served Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc., as Senior Manager and General Counsel from 2003 to 2006, and helped manage marine operations, build and staff the research department, that was responsible for locating of, e.g., Admiral John Balchen’s sunken flagship HMS VICTORY and British steam merchant S.S GAIRSOPPA. A graduate of Gonzaga University Law School and a member of the Washington State Bar since 1978 (retired 2010), He’s also participated in a number of deep and shallow water projects since 1995, including:
Japanese Submarine I-52. The I-52 was sunk in the Atlantic Ocean in 1944 with 64,000 troy ounces of gold onboard. At 17,200 feet, the I-52 is the deepest shipwreck ever discovered and visited by humans. Guy Zajonc was project manager and shareholder, and participated in the manned investigation of the wreck site. The project used the Russian Academy of Science’s deep submersible program to film and photograph the site in 1998 for National Geographic TV and magazine.
RMS TITANIC. Guy Zajonc dove to the RMS TITANIC in September 2000 as part of a mission conducted by Deep Ocean Expedition where he served as General Counsel and Project Manager.
Amelia’s Earhart’s Final Flight. As a principal in Howland Landing, LLC and co-coordinator of the project, Guy Zajonc helped organize the first ever deep-water search for the lost airplane of Amelia Earhart off Howland Island in the Central Pacific. The mission mapped over 600 square miles in waters up to 18,000 feet deep.
Battleship BISMARCK. For Deep Ocean Expeditions, Guy Zajonc helped organize the first manned dives on the Battleship BISMARCK in 2001 and was part of the resulting expedition.
The Atlantic Target. In 2001, Guy Zajonc was part owner and a team member on the 16,000 foot discovery dive to the unidentified ship known as the Atlantic Target. Over 1,500 gold and silver coins and 65 artifacts were recovered from the deepest historic shipwreck ever excavated, a small merchant vessel that sank south of Bermuda some two hundred years ago.
S.S. REPUBLIC. In August 2003 Guy Zajonc joined Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc.’s senior management team as General Counsel and was initially responsible for onshore support of Marine Operations. In November of 2003 gold was discovered on the wreck of the S.S. REPUBLIC in 1,600 feet of water. Over 51,000 gold and silver coins and 13,000 artifacts have been recovered with an estimated value of $75 million USD.
Washington Coast Dives. In 2006, Guy Zajonc undertook manned submersible dives and 3-D filming off the coast of Washington State in partnership with Lightspeed Design Group of Seattle, using Nuytco Research, Ltd. submersibles that resulted in the 3-D, high definition documentary film Dive! Manned Submersibles and the New Explorers.
In addition to his work with technical experts, Guy Zajonc has also worked with cinematographers from around the world during expeditions, including Emmy Award winner Mark Stouffer with National Geographic and IMAX film director and producer Stephen Low. He also met and drafted the ship charter agreements for James Cameron on his trips to RMS TITANIC for the IMAX movie “Ghosts of the Abyss”, and the BISMARCK for the high-definition television production “Jim Cameron’s Expedition Bismarck” for Discovery Channel.
What does it take to run a deep sea salvage company? Great gear and great people! From deckhands to directors, everybody at Endurance pitches in to mobilize for our upcoming recovery expedition.
So how many shipwrecks are there? Despite the volume of archival data we work with, we’ll never truly know. Some estimates – such as that of the United Nations – estimate that there may be as many as three million. This regional database contains just 1400, nearly all carrying precious metal or otherwise valuable cargoes.