Mark Trezza actually owns a yellow submarine — but he really can’t stand the tune. “Everywhere I go somebody breaks into song. And I’ve always hated that song since it came out originally — yeah, that’s how old I am,” says Trezza, 55, of the Beatles’ 1966 smash hit. It’s not unusual to see a submarine painted yellow, he says; the underwater boats are customarily painted that color, or some other bright hue, in order to be more easily seen from the surface.
Built in 1981, the vessel was used for bridge inspections in Maine before ending up in a Kingston marina, where it sat idle for more than two decades. Trezza (shown above), a Kingston resident and former commercial air pilot, obtained it in 2010. “Parts were missing, the hatch was off, it was covered in 26 years of dust,” he recalls. He and his cousin, David Trezza, co-own the sub; the pair spent two and a half years repairing the exterior, rewiring the electrical system, and adding extra escape features.
Now fully functional and named Seahorse, the 15-foot-long sub can reach depths of 350 feet. And reach them it does — but not just for joyrides (although the cousins will take you for an underwater spin if you ask). Operating under the name Marine Exploration Group, the Seahorse — accompanied by surface support crews and police SCUBA divers — is often used on missions to locate missing persons who may have drowned. Last October, the sub scoured Lake George searching for a young man who drowned 20 years ago. Unfortunately the search was unsuccessful, “but we may go back,” Trezza says. In July, they were scheduled to look for a jet that supposedly crashed in Lake Champlain in 1971. (As of press time, this expedition had not yet occurred; check Marine Exploration Group’s Facebook page for updates and results.)
The sub’s outings aren’t always so gloomy. “In Lake George, we found two shipwrecks from the 1700-1800s that no one knew about,” says Trezza. “One was about 190 feet down and had the mast across its back. That’s fun stuff to find.” The Seahorse sometimes travels to schools for special teaching opportunities and gets its own float in parades. Says Trezza: “It’s great to show to students and the community, because how many people actually get to see a real sub?”
See below for more images of the submarine: