Known as the "Underwater Indiana Jones", esteemed marine archaeologist Wes Hall of Wilmington, NC passed peacefully at home the evening of Monday, August 27. The cause is thought to be sudden heart failure. Wes was 59.

Wes made a difference in this world through the science he conducted and the lives he touched along the way. Friends around the globe remember him as an honorable man with a kind heart, determined spirit, zest for adventure and history, and an enjoyable sense of humor. He loved his family above all else.

Wes was born in Artesia, New Mexico, on November 21, 1952. His family moved to Jetmore, Kansas where he lived until he graduated from high school. Wes served in the United States Marine Corps until 1974 achieving the rank of Sergeant. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Arkansas and his Master's degree in Maritime History from East Carolina University in 1977.

Wes founded Mid-Atlantic Technology and Environmental Research in 1992, a marine survey, remote sensing, and coastal resource management firm that serviced the major ports and shipping channels along the Eastern Seaboard. His achievements include recognition from several states for his maritime heritage work, discovery of the 1677 French fleet in Scarborough Harbor, Tobago, and extensive work with author Clive Cussler's non-profit National Underwater and Marine Agency. Most notable was his 1995 discovery and identification of the Civil War era submarine, the CSS Hunley, in Charleston Harbor.

In his book, "The Sea Hunters," acclaimed adventure novelist Clive Cussler described his good friend Wes as "the kind of guy who would walk through a hurricane, a forest fire, and an earthquake while maintaining his set little grin, then step up to a bar, order a beer, and ask the bartender where the action is." Ralph Wilbanks, friend and professional associate of 40 years, said, "Wes was a great field archaeologist. He developed new techniques to get the job done more efficiently and cost effectively. He was a great guy to have on your side."

Wes is survived by his parents Lola Hall, Cliff Hall and wife Virginia, loving wife Boni Hall and step-sons Parker and Pierce Morgan, sister Katherine Attarzadeh and husband Ghodrat, son Myka Hall and wife Rene', grandchildren Chase and Meadow Hall, niece Chloe Bangs and nephew Alex Harmon.

A Celebration of his Life will be held Friday, August 31 at 5:30 p.m. at the Carolina Marine Terminal, 3330 River Rd., Wilmington NC 28412. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made in his name to: , P.O. Box 5216, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5216 or N.U.M.A., P.O. Box 5059, Scottsdale, AZ 85258.

Online condolences at StarNewsOnline.com

Published in the Wilmington Star-News from Aug. 30 to Aug. 31, 2012