Dr. Hughes is a member of the Royal Society of Science and his organization chartered the Captain and his ship the Bellerophon to track down the supposed sea creature.
After hearing about 3 British merchant ships going down in the Caribbean because a “sea-monster” attacked them Dr. Hughes reached out to the British Admiralty to determine if something was being done. It was not as the Admiralty had other more important things to do. So Dr. Hughes implored through the Royal Society to fund an expedition to determine if there was any truth to this rumor. Being a man of science Dr. Hughes also hoped to make a name for himself in the discovery of this and other sea creatures after the success of several other recent expeditions.
His petition for the expedition was approved in 1877 and during this time he spent time doing fact-finding and sending letters to all those who had been a witness or knew more about the situation. One such reply was the Captain, who was unsure of what he had seen but was amenable to an expedition if the purse was right. Luckily the purse for the expedition was large and he was able to charter the ship. His friend, Lord Marsden, after just returning from Safari in South Africa had heard of his endeavor and decided to join the expedition.
Lord Marsden also wanted to bring along some new diving equipment he recently acquired through a game of chance as he thought it would be the perfect opportunity to test it out and try something new and adventurous.