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Underwater pioneer leaves research vessel to MMF

Morgan Wells of North donated his two-person yellow submarine to the Mathews Maritime Foundation and Museum shortly before he died on Friday.

According to museum spokesperson Nancy Lindgren, it’s not yet known whether it will be displayed inside or outside at the Gwynn’s Island Boat Shop, originally the Klingel Boatyard, which the foundation currently leases.

According to Lindgren, Wells was well-known locally for his scientific research, specifically his underwater habitats, and for growing figs. “A rather unusual combination of interests,” she said. Wells developed the combination of oxygen and nitrogen used in deep-water diving when he was a pioneer in experimental research for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Navy.

He was also instrumental in developing the hyperbaric chambers used to treat divers enduring the “bends,” or decompression sickness, which is caused when nitrogen bubbles form in the blood or body tis...

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