ATLANTIC CITY – Stockton University’s Marine Field Station and one of its boats were transformed into a film set over the summer while university experts were filmed for an episode of National Geographic TV’s “Drain the Oceans.”
The episode titled, “Rise of the Mob,” is the second of season six, and it debuted at 10 p.m. Sunday, March 12 on Disney+.
The historical docuseries takes viewers around the world to reveal submerged mysteries with CGI technology and then pieces together clues discovered in the depths with the expertise of marine archaeologists.
Stephen Nagiewicz, an adjunct instructor of marine science and a diver, is a featured expert in the episode, and one of the field station’s boats, the R/V Petrel, was equipped with multibeam sonar and a remote operated vehicle camera.
Rumrunners worked under the radar off the coast of New Jersey during Prohibition, and all that remains of the mostly undocumented missions are the wrecks on the seafloor and a few clues buried in archives. Of the estimated 4,000-7,000 shipwrecks off the New Jersey coast, Nagiewicz dove to one that was clearly connected to Prohibition 35 years ago.
Steve Evert, director of the Marine Field Station, was the captain of an expedition that took the film crew offshore with Nagiewicz and Professor of Biology Peter Straub to explore where Prohibition deliveries secretly unfolded and to return to the wreck he dove three decades ago.
A Mallinson Sadler Productions film crew sat at the lab tables where students measured eelgrass samples, counted oyster spat and looked at fish ear bones under the microscope as they prepared to ask Nagiewicz about his past dive and the recent return visit. Bright lights and a boom mic were pointed at him as he recounted those experiences.