WESTERLY, R.I. (WPRI/AP) - A team of divers said Friday they've discovered the remains of the USS Revenge, a ship commanded by U.S. Navy hero Oliver Hazard Perry and wrecked off Rhode Island in 1811.
A crowd of history buffs showed up at Westerly's historic Ocean House for the divers' presentation.
The schooner sank off the reefs of Watch Hill exactly 200 years ago this weekend.
Perry is known for defeating the British in the Battle of Lake Erie off the Ohio shore in the War of 1812. The divers say the wreck changed the course of history because Perry wouldn't have been sent to Lake Erie otherwise.
The divers are 99.9% sure the wreck they found is the Revenge.
"Charlie [Buffum, the other diver] looks at me and our eyes are just bugging out," said diver Craig Harger. "'We've found it! Look at this! We've found it!'" Harger said they were exclaiming -- as much as one can with a scuba mouthpiece between your lips.
Both men are from Connecticut.
They hope the Navy will salvage the remains, which are mostly metal objects such as cannons and an anchor.
Perry's also known for the line "I have met the enemy and they are ours." His battle flag bore the phrase "Don't give up the ship," and to this day is a symbol of the Navy.
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