In an unexpected turn of events, the highly anticipated expedition Eslabon Perdido / Ultra Mar Sur, aimed at unraveling the mysteries surrounding Argentine coastal 'submarine' wrecks, has encountered a twist of its own.
Andres Restrepo, the original expedition leader, has regrettably stepped down due to internal politics, with specific details of the disputes remaining undisclosed. However, an insider revealed that the departure was triggered by “Restrepo's frustration with the media team” and his recent changes and additions to the expedition team, which were published on the 'Ultra Mar Sur' website without prior consultation with partners or team members. Restrepo's decision to change the expedition name from 'Eslabon Perdido' to 'Ultra Mar Sur,' though agreed with one of the partners, added further conflict and was said to have led to contractual challenges.
Stepping into the role temporarily, Laurence de Mello, executive co-producer of the expedition's planned documentary series, expressed disappointment at the inability to reconcile differences of opinion. De Mello highlighted that “drastic changes” in team composition without prior consultation and other sole decisions made by Restrepo became insurmountable hurdles”.
In acknowledging Restrepo's contribution, de Mello stated, The former expedition lead is an exceptional explorer and fantastic ideas person, having successfully gathered a diverse array of experts and technology for the expedition. His effort and enthusiasm will be genuinely missed.
Emphasizing the collaborative nature, she added, However, we must not forget this is a two-team effort with many professionals dedicating time, energy, research, documents and valuable advice for many months without remuneration. A team is exactly that, and major decisions must be consulted on.
Describing recent challenges as a common occurrence, de Mello reassured, This has been an unfortunate but normal hiccough in such ventures, my partners and I continue to move forward as planned.
Notably, she added, I do need to be clear; we are not using a website at this time.”
Despite the unexpected changes, the expedition remains steadfast in its commitment to the mission for 2024. The team, comprised of world-class divers—two of whom are women and members of the Explorers Club of New York along with an array of experts, is resolute in moving forward with the exploration of the Argentine coastal 'submarine' wrecks under new leadership.
About Eslabon Perdido
Eslabon Perdido / Stahlwolf is a dedicated expedition focused on investigating Argentine coastal 'submarine' wrecks, including some believed to be U-Boats used for covertly transporting people and cargo to Argentina at the end of WWII.