Remains of US submarine innovator exhumed in Panama

AP

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  • Maritime archaeologist James Delgado inspects debris on the grave site of Julius H. Kroehl before exhuming his body from Amador Cemetery in the Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. The remains of Kroehl, a German-American who was a pioneer on the design of the first submarine to submerge successfully at depth, are being moved to Corozal Cemetery, a cemetery where American veterans are buried. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

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    Maritime archaeologist James Delgado sweeps away debris on the gravesite of Julius H. Kroehl before exhuming his body from Amador Cemetery in the Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. The remains of Kroehl, a German-American who was a pioneer on the design of the first submarine to submerge successfully at depth, are being moved to Corozal Cemetery, a cemetery where American veterans are buried. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

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    A man works to exhume the tomb of Julius H. Kroehl from Amador Cemetery in the Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. The remains of Kroehl, a German-American who was a pioneer on the design of the first submarine to submerge successfully at depth, are being moved to Corozal Cemetery where American veterans are buried. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

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    In this March 12, 2004 photo provided by the U.S. embassy in Panama, a diver stands by the submarine designed by Julius H. Kroehl, wrecked off San Telmo Island, Panama. The remains of Kroehl, a German-American who was a pioneer on the design of the first submarine to submerge successfully at depth, are being moved to Corozal Cemetery, a cemetery where American veterans are buried in Panama. (James Delgado/US Embassy in Panama via AP)

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    Maritime archaeologist James Delgado, left, cleans a piece of the skull bone of Julius H. Kroehl as his body is exhumed from Amador Cemetery in the Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. The remains of Kroehl, a German-American who was a pioneer on the design of the first submarine to submerge successfully at depth, are being moved to Corozal Cemetery, a cemetery where American veterans are buried. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

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    People gather under a tent as they exhume the body of Julius H. Kroehl from Amador Cemetery in the Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. The remains of Kroehl, a German-American who was a pioneer on the design of the first submarine to submerge successfully at depth, are being moved to Corozal Cemetery where American veterans are buried. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

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    In this March 12, 2004 photo provided by the U.S. embassy in Panama, the submarine designed by Julius H. Kroehl emerges from the water during low tide off San Telmo Island, Panama. The remains of Kroehl, a German-American who was a pioneer on the design of the first submarine to submerge successfully at depth, are being moved to Corozal Cemetery, a cemetery where American veterans are buried in Panama. (James Delgado/US Embassy in Panama via AP)

  • Maritime archaeologist James Delgado inspects debris on the grave site of Julius H. Kroehl before exhuming his body from Amador Cemetery in the Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. The remains of Kroehl, a German-American who was a pioneer on the design of the first submarine to submerge successfully at depth, are being moved to Corozal Cemetery, a cemetery where American veterans are buried. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

  • 1

    Maritime archaeologist James Delgado sweeps away debris on the gravesite of Julius H. Kroehl before exhuming his body from Amador Cemetery in the Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. The remains of Kroehl, a German-American who was a pioneer on the design of the first submarine to submerge successfully at depth, are being moved to Corozal Cemetery, a cemetery where American veterans are buried. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

  • 2

    A man works to exhume the tomb of Julius H. Kroehl from Amador Cemetery in the Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. The remains of Kroehl, a German-American who was a pioneer on the design of the first submarine to submerge successfully at depth, are being moved to Corozal Cemetery where American veterans are buried. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

  • 3

    In this March 12, 2004 photo provided by the U.S. embassy in Panama, a diver stands by the submarine designed by Julius H. Kroehl, wrecked off San Telmo Island, Panama. The remains of Kroehl, a German-American who was a pioneer on the design of the first submarine to submerge successfully at depth, are being moved to Corozal Cemetery, a cemetery where American veterans are buried in Panama. (James Delgado/US Embassy in Panama via AP)

  • 4

    Maritime archaeologist James Delgado, left, cleans a piece of the skull bone of Julius H. Kroehl as his body is exhumed from Amador Cemetery in the Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. The remains of Kroehl, a German-American who was a pioneer on the design of the first submarine to submerge successfully at depth, are being moved to Corozal Cemetery, a cemetery where American veterans are buried. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

  • 5

    People gather under a tent as they exhume the body of Julius H. Kroehl from Amador Cemetery in the Chorrillo neighborhood of Panama City, Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. The remains of Kroehl, a German-American who was a pioneer on the design of the first submarine to submerge successfully at depth, are being moved to Corozal Cemetery where American veterans are buried. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

  • 6

    In this March 12, 2004 photo provided by the U.S. embassy in Panama, the submarine designed by Julius H. Kroehl emerges from the water during low tide off San Telmo Island, Panama. The remains of Kroehl, a German-American who was a pioneer on the design of the first submarine to submerge successfully at depth, are being moved to Corozal Cemetery, a cemetery where American veterans are buried in Panama. (James Delgado/US Embassy in Panama via AP)

PANAMA CITY (AP) The remains of a German-American who invented the first submarine able to dive and resurface by itself were exhumed in a Panamanian cemetery Thursday and will be reburied alongside U.S. war veterans near the Panama Canal.

Julius Kroehl's remains were dug up with help from the U.S. Embassy, which said authorities will also seek to confirm the identity of the remains and establish a cause of death.

Kroehl built his submarine from parts brought from New York to search for pearls off Panama's Pacific coast during the 19th century. Records say he died at age 47 of malaria, but some suspect he was killed by decompression sickness also known as the bends.

Kroehl was buried in 1867, and his grave was only rediscovered in 2005.

"I have no words to express the sentiment of emotion, it's a lot of emotion and also some sadness," maritime archaeologist James Delgado said as he held part of the remains in his hand.

Delgado spent a good part of his life studying Kroehl and in 2001 discovered the remains of Kroehl's submarine at San Telmo Island, in Panama's Pearl Islands.

"For me it is closing a chapter in this indescribable story," said Delgado, who is a senior vice president of SEARCH Inc., an archaeology and cultural resources management company.

Kroehl was buried in what at the time was the foreigners' cemetery. It is now part of a cemetery in Panama City's populous neighborhood of El Chorrillo.

The U.S. Embassy said in a statement that Kroehl participated in the U.S. Civil War and for that reason will be re-buried in the Corozal American Cemetery and Memorial.

     

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