Vincent J Capone M.Sc., FN-89
Vincent Capone: Lecturer, Instructor, Recognized Expert in sonar search technology by the US Navy and Federal Court System, Hydrographer, ROV Pilot, Sailor and Scuba diver.
Vince frequently presents programs on adventure, history, and marine technology for locating lost shipwrecks and anything else lost beneath the surface. During his 30+ tenure, he has found hundreds of ships, aircraft, and other things lost at sea, including America’s oldest intact warship and the German submarine U-215. Vince has acted as an expert witness in maritime-related cases and provided expert investigative services regarding maritime groundings, lost anchors, sunken containers, submerged hazardous waste, and vessel accidents. He is recognized by the US Federal Court System and the US Navy as a sonar subject matter expert. He is the author of academic papers relating to marine technology and maritime archaeology.
Vince frequently guest lectured at the University of Delaware and Stockton University. He also has presented at the US Naval Academy and dozens of other venues. Vince has delivered hundreds of presentations, for Universities, Diving Organizations such as the Boston Sea Rovers, Diving Clubs, the Sea & Learn Foundation, US Naval Academy, and professional symposia. He has appeared as a guest on Erin Bernet Live and as a reoccurring guest character on the Sea Hunters TV Series in association with the author Clive Cussler.
Vince started his underwater career in the mid-1970s as a certified NAUI advanced diver exploring the shipwrecks of New Jersey. He went on to earn degrees in Marine Biology and Marine Science with minors in geology and experimental statistics, including a six-month tropical marine ecology program at the West Indies Laboratory. With an interest in shipwrecks, he continued his underwater education, earning a certification as an underwater Archaeological Assistant and helped with the archaeological documentation of shipwrecks in Lake George including batteau and The Land Tortoise radeau, America’s oldest intact warship which is now on the National Historic Register of Historic Places. The archaeological work earned him induction into the Explorer’s Club in 1989, and in 1992 the Philadelphia Chapter’s Explorer of the Year. In 2014 he received one of the club’s highest awards, the Citation of Merit, for being a team member locating and recovering the Apollo rocket motors from the deep ocean off the Florida coast.
His professional career started with developing a marine division for an environmental consulting firm and then working for Oceaneering. He went on to found several small marine survey and technology firms he conducted hundreds of hydrographic surveys and was an early adopter of commercial multibeam technology in the mid-1990s. He was a noted small-medium class ROV pilot starting with Chris Nicholson’s Mini-rover MK II.
Vince founded Black Laser Learning, Inc. which specialized in training marine technology for a wide variety of clients including the US Navy (EOD, NOMWC, MDSU, UCT, NSCT-1, SOCOM, NAVSEA). Vince has also trained numerous foreign allies including the Israeli Navy, Irish Navy, South Korean Navy, Montenegrin Navy, Cambodian EOD Divers, and the Royal Solomon Islands Police force. He has worked with or trained the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Justice, the Royal Canadian Mounties, the USEPA, the USEPA Investigative Service, several State Police departments dozens of county and local law enforcement agencies as well as numerous fire/rescue groups, park service personnel and the Los Angeles County Lifeguards.
He taught college courses at the Ilse of Shoals Marine Laboratory (Marine Pollution)and Dowling College(Maritime Archaeology).
Vince developed the basic and advanced side scan sonar training programs for US Navy MK 18 UUV program. Over two hundred of sailors went through his side scan sonar analysis programs before overseas deployment. These programs laid the groundwork for other training programs with new and improved training as the sensors, vehicles, and tactics changed. Working with then SPAWA now NIWC Point Loma Laboratory, Vince assisted with the integration of sensors in the MK 18 vehicles along with advancements in software and data processing, including the Navy’s synthetic aperture sonar (SAS). Vince retired from supporting the MK 18 program in 2021 after 15 years of supporting the program.
As an extension of his training, he has produced over 35 training videos for both commercial and military customers. His most popular Side Scan Sonar training video has over 1200 copies in circulation worldwide. He is the author of several academic papers relating to underwater search OPS and nautical Archeology.
I was very fortunate to enter the industry in the analog age and participate in the transition into the digital/computer era. The old ways provided a grounding in basic principles that are now accomplished behind the monitor unseen. This rich career would not have been possible without the help of so many people too numerous to mention. Thank you all.