Many visible shipwrecks line the new Jersey coast, thousands lie beneath the envelope of the sea...
|Mike Edelon plaque from Pierce Arrow cargo.|
|Chard from Almirante|
Typical deck plans for passenger freighter like the Flour
Small lock recovered by Josh
The Almirante was built in 1909 and sunk on September 6, 1918 in a collision with the USS Hisko off Atlantic City. This 3,121 ton passenger freighter was owned by the United Fruit Company. It is also known as the Flour Wreck, since flour was part of it's cargo and it washed up on nearby beaches. This wreck sits in 65 feet of water. It is a big wreck, having been wire-dragged twice and depth charged. It still contains a cargo of china, tiles, kerosene lanterns, milk bottles and plenty of brass. The wreck has a lot of structure for lobster to hide in and large mussel beds. The Flour normally has better visibility than the surrounding wrecks because it sits on a shallow ledge.
Almirante porthole at Maritime Museum of New Jersey
In the spring of 1942 the Arundo was torpedoed by the U-136. When it hit the number 2 hull, the vessel had a 90 degree list to starboard side in 5 minutes. This vessel was a powered by coal fired steam and is 412 feet in length. At the time of its sinking the Arundo was carrying cargo cases of evaporated milk, canned herring, lubricating oil, 123 three ton GMC trucks, 2 locomotives and 5000 cases of beer. For a noncombat freighter she was suited with a 4 inch gun mounted on the after deck, 2 20-mm antiaircraft, 2 twin marlins, and 2 30-caliber Hotchkiss guns. The wreck now lies in 130 feet of water.
|builders plaque recovered by Roy Matthews|
Ayuruoca (Oil Wreck) and the Across
The Ayuruoca was 6,872 ton freighter sunk on June 10, 1945 during a collision. Also known as the Oil Wreck, this wreck is considered deep, dark and dangerous. It sits at 170 feet in the "Mud Hole." It has fishing line and netting on some parts of the wreck so divers should be cautious exploring. The stern is split from the bridge section which rises to 140 feet. The forward mast rise to 110 feet and remains standing. This wreck is an exciting dive for experienced divers.
|Tom Zajak and Captain Dan Bartone|
|In 2014 Tom Zajak recovered a second builders plaque|
Across the Mud Hole from the Ayuruoca lies the Across Wreck hence the name. This large wooden unidentified wreck is still a mystery and has much potential for experienced artifact divers. Here three dogged portholes, brass parts, cages lights and other bits lie loose in the wooden structure. Divers are warned of netting and pot lines mixed in the wreckage.
Carolina This passenger freighter was built in 1896 and powered by coal-fired stem. This 380 foot freighter was shelled by U-151, part of the six vessels sunk during what is known as Black Sunday.
This passenger steamer sank in a collision with the French armored cruiser La Gloire on May 1, 1918. Today, the remains provide the artifact and lobster hunter an infinite store of rifle ammunition, bottles, and assorted war surplus as well as large lobsters dwelling throughout the hull plates. Rifle butts can be located 15 feet forward of the boilers and ammo is in the port bow.
Continent This small coastal freighter sank in a collision on January 10, 1942 with the tanker Byron Benson. Only 149 feet in length, this obscure wooden wreck sit in 145 feet on a mud bottom. Atlantic Divers ventured to and was first to dive the wreck with George Hoffman in 1994. Few charters have been there since. Much more investigation is needed on this site..
|Emerald color bottles and numerous copper pipes gave the Emerald it's original name.|
The Great Isaac was a large ocean-going tug that sank due to a collision in 1947. The Great Isaac sits in 90 feet of water and is intact lying on it's port (left) side. The Great Isaac was a part of the Normandy beach invasion and the captain at the time received a bronze start for meritorious duty under fire. It's sunk about half way into the sandy bottom and it's rapidly deteriorating. Artifacts are still abundant, since half the wreck is buried and washing out with more access areas. Everywhere there are lobster and fish. Mussels can be scraped from the upper parts of the wreck and are, therefore, cleaner with less sand in them. The Great Isaac now has many entrances into her inner compartments for divers with experience and training in wreck penetrations.
Diving the Great Isaac Read this tale of discoveries on the Great Isaac.
Gulf Trade This Gulf oil tanker was torpedoed on March 10, 1942 by the German Sub U-588. The wreck lies in two sections. Bow or the South East Wreck The bow grounded after the attack and now lies in 60 feet of water 5 miles south east of Barnegat Light. This section was cleared to a depth of forty feet. Here divers can find some boilers, parts and brass mechanisms scattered throughout the hull plates. A popular site for lobster and spear fisherman. Although it has been overlooked by artifact hunters, the wheelhouse was leveled and has been covered over by sand since its' sinking. Divers have recovered china, gravy boats, cups, thermometers, .50 caliber bullets and several portholes here. Divers should be aware that live hedgehog bombs dropped from blimps during the war are occasionally found at this site. Do not recover... In the mid seventies a dragger net caught a large section of wreckage and here a large Sand Tiger shark got caught, died and hung in the netting. An eerie site to behold as novice divers dropped down the anchor line eyeing the shadowing shark swaying to and fro in the current. Gone soon after, but a haunting memory long embedded in many minds.The stern section drifted 10 miles NNE from the bow and remains nearly intact and upright. The stern deckhouse was wire-dragged off the top deck. It now lies scattered on the starboard side of the main hull section. Divers will find this section interesting because one can penetrate the large hull section with plenty of overhead light and escape routes. Lobster and all-mouth (Monk fish) are prevalent in the debris field. Artifact hunters can still find portholes buried in the sand near the port side as well an auxiliary steering gear mechanism in the far stern. A fun dive with lots of relief to explore.
Built in Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Huntsville burned and sank off Atlantic City in 1877. This single screw steamer produced some small, but significant recoveries soon after being discovered by Captain Ed Boyle and Allen Edmunds in the early eighties. One such discovery in the mid nineties included a gold pocket watch with an inscription dating 1806. The wreck has been known as the Lang due to it's location, where a sea collision took place and the Yohanna Lang could have sank. Further research revealed that the Yohanna Lang was towed in and salvaged. More recently other nick names have included this as the Copper Wreck. The Huntsville was a wooden vessel which burned to the waterline leaving little structure to explore except it's single piston steam engine and iron propeller. Today it's large engine overshadows the wreck and makes home for numerous lobsters and fish. Digging forward of the engine area one can uncover an intact wooden deck. Here gundeon pins and spikes have been recovered. According to Gary Gentile, Captain David Pfeiffer of the Submission pieced together some clues and realized that he had been diving the site for decades. He presented a convincing description to Gentile after reading his newsletter that fitted the Huntsville and Gentile concurred. Today the wreck has more to offer, still buried in the sand. The Huntsville was an 840-ton (burden) wooden screw steamship. Launched at New York City in 1857 and she was subsequently employed commercially along the U.S. Atlantic Coast. After the American Civil War began in April 1861 she was chartered for U.S. Navy service and converted to a gunboat. Placed in commission as USS Huntsville in May, she was formally purchased in August, while serving in the Gulf of Mexico. The steamer operated in the Gulf for the next three years. Her primary duty was enforcing the blockade of the Confederate coast,. She successfully captured over a dozen blockade runners.in 1863 and 64. In the beginning of May 1864 the steamer supported troops ashore at Tampa Bay, Florida. While off Tampa her crew suffered greatly from yellow fever, so Huntsville was sent north in July and decommissioned in August.
Recommissioned in late March 1865, Huntsville made transport voyages to New Orleans and Panama between early April and late June. She then carried passengers between New York and Boston and escorted a monitor to Philadelphia. Following decommissioning in late August and sale at the end of November 1865, Huntsville resumed her commercial career, which lasted until she burned and sank off Atlantic City in December 1877.
Hvoslef This freighter was torpedoed by U-94 March 10, 1942. Built: 1927. Length: 255 ft. A sweet wreck, the Hvoslef was carrying sugar from Spain to Boston when she was struck by 2 torpedoes. The ship sank in 2 minutes. The bow is the most intact part of the wreck. The midships is open, exposing the engine and boilers, and the stern is clearly intact and recently has exposed new areas to explore.
|Photo By Steve Gatto on Jacob Jones of Eric Tidwell|
Joe Paul Tidwell's Story:
|Joseph Tidwell's story from March 1942 newspaper|
This 314 ft. long four-stack destroyer was torpedoed by the U-578 (Korvettenkapitan Rewinkel) on February 27, 1942. Ninety men perished from the attack which not only the explosion caused by the German torpedo, but also by the depth charge explosions from the destroyer's own devices erupting upon reaching the sea floor. Today, the mid-section remains one of the few contiguous sections. Here divers can still see 3 inch brass casings crushed by the pressure at the 110 ft. depth. Many valve wheels and brass machinery parts are intermixed throughout the hull. The bridge section is a small piece lying SE of the main wreckage and is rarely visited. This section has large lobsters but only the main helm stand is left, buried in the sand. Many other small pieces are great distances from the mid-section. This is now a protected U. S. Navy wrecksite. Artifact recovery is prohibited.
Divers should be aware that a few depth charges remain near the stern section, a torpedo with a small brass propeller sticks out from under a hull piece and much live ordinance remains. DO NOT DISTURB OR RECOVER THESE!
The freighter was built in 1918 and has a length of 251 feet. In July 1920, the Lake Frampton sank to 70 feet due to a collision with the SS Comus.
This large 437 foot coal carrier (collier) was torpedoed while en route to New York then to Boston. The German sub U-404, (Otto von Bülow) sighted the silhouette of the hull in the bright lights of Atlantic City. Firing three torpedoes ensured the sinking. The sub hung out after the sinking to question survivors. The blast was so terrific windows in the Haddon Hall Hotel shattered from the doomed collier's explosion, which was struck only a few miles away. Only eight crew members out of 28 survived the blast and the cold night clinging to lifeboats before being picked up. One of those rescued died in the Mariners hospital shortly there after.Today the Lemuel Burrows remains one of the largest vessels sunk off the coast. The bow section rises off the sand forming a passage way where divers can follow anchor winch back to a higher relief area where engine parts, boilers and gigantic machinery creates holes to explore. Much destruction from the torpedoes is evident, but the vastness of this wreck allows great traversing over hull plates and recognizable structure in the stern. The shaft alley runs the length of the stern allowing easy navigation. In the late eighties Atlantic Divers recovered the brass letters positively identifying the wreck.
This collier type vessel was built in 1916, and has a length of 253 feet. In June 1944, the Maurice Tracey collided with Jesse Billingsley, traveling south from New York to Norfolk VA with coal. On the bottom the wreck was a serious navigation hazard and now lies flattened on the bottom in 70 feet of water.
|Grinding stone from Montgomery|
- The Montgomery was a 787-ton (burden) wooden screw steamship, built in New York City in 1858. She was chartered by the Navy in May 1861, soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, and placed in commission as USS Montgomery. The Navy purchased her in August. During June-November 1861, she served in the Gulf of Mexico, enforcing the blockade of western Florida. Later in the year, Montgomery was shifted to the northern Gulf coast. On 4 December 1861, in Mississippi Sound, she engaged the Confederate steamers Florida and Pamlico. Remaining in the Gulf, during 1862 Montgomery captured or destroyed a half-dozen blockade runners, mainly sailing vessels. Following her return to the Atlantic in 1863, she took part in the search for the Confederate raider Tacony in June. Later assigned to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, in January 1864 she helped to destroy the blockade runners Bendigo and Dare. The next month, Montgomery captured the steamer Pet and in October took the Bat. She also participated in the two assaults on Fort Fisher, North Carolina, during December 1864 and January 1865, operations that finally eliminated the nearby city of Wilmington as a blockade running port.
For the remainder of the Civil War, Montgomery served along the Carolina coast and participated in operations in North Carolina's Cape Fear River. Decommissioned in June 1865 and sold in August, Montgomery retained her name when she reentered commercial service in 1866. She was active for nearly eleven more years, until she was sunk due to a collision with schooner Seminole on January 7, 1877 off Cape May, New Jersey.
Rosita Ebanks Shields was nine years old when her father Willard Ebanks, the ship's carpenter failed to return from the fateful voyage of the S.S. Miraflores. Rosita remembers frequent trips with her father to the docks. There she meandered through the ship, climbed the narrow ladders down to the massive engine room and ascending back up to the deck watching the crew unload, pack and maintain the ship.
She remembered her father's ship departing for it's fatal voyage and the hardships her mother, older brother and younger sister faced when the S.S.Miraflores never returned. Months passed without any word on the demise of the ship. No information on the sinking was ever known to her mother. The ship just disappeared without a trace. It was not accounted for until the S.S. Miraflores was positively identified in 2008 over 66 years after Rosita watched her dad go to sea.
Her mother and father had a restaurant next to the Banana Inn close to the ship docks in downtown New Orleans. There she passed time in the kitchen assisting her mother as they waited for a word on her dad's possible return. She reminisced that a patron would beep his car horn and give rides in his sports car to her family and siblings. They would climb in the coup's rumble seat and take short jaunts up and down the streets of New Orleans. One day rushing to get a ride, she accidently burned her leg by knocking over hot French fries oil in the restaurants kitchen. She has a scar to this day. She got a ride she recalls, but it was to the local druggist for burn ointment. Soon weeks, then months passed and still there were no reports on the missing ship and crew. Shortly there after her younger sister entered children's hospital with a leaky heart valve. There her sister would tell her mom that her daddy would visit each day. Sadly her sister soon became weaker and passed away. Rosita believes she missed her father so badly that she envisioned him calling her to join him.
Her mother continued on. Before and after the ship's disappearance she worked with the U.S. Immigration Department in New Orleans, assisting the crew with their paperwork, offering them a land based home and providing piles of chicken and pork chop dinners to the hungry Honduran crews. Life went on Rosita grew up, became a secretary for a local hotel, then married, all with out her father and no knowledge of his final fate.
Today, Rosita is 76 years young, the mother of four sons, two daughters, she has two grand children and still resides in New Orleans. Last year at Christmas as her family gathered by her side, her son David presented her with a special gift she that cherishes, a glass box with a wooden frame. Inside is a piece of wood decking recovered from the S.S. Miraflores and a picture of her daddy. Each morning she speaks to her father as she looks at the piece of wooden deck he once walked and worked on.
War and the sacrifice of those families affected by lost loved ones cannot be measured, only multiplied over time.
This offshore wreck was first discovered and later positively identified by Atlantic Divers. The wreck lies 53 miles off Cape May, New Jersey in 165 feet of saltwater. A dramatic adventure tale of mystery unfolded. The discovery led to the final identification of this long lost ship more than fifteen years later. In February 1942 the Miraflores left port in the Gulf of Mexico and was lost with out a trace. Thirty-seven crew members went down with the ship after being torpedoed by the German sub U-432. Read the exciting true tale of it's discovery, identification and it's effect on the crew's loved ones left without any knowledge of their final demise until Atlantic Divers uncovered the evidence of the Miraflores identity.
Built in 1926 and sank in a collision on January 25, 1935 with the Norwegian freighter Talisman. There were 45 casualties, Today it is one of the most frequented dive destinations for Manasquan Inlet dive operators. Numerous discoveries of china, silverware, bottles, salt shakers and assorted hardware continue to be found.
This converted sub chaser was sank while patrolling off Cape May, New Jersey, due to a collision with the US Destroyer Greer on October 15, 1942. This once luxurious private yacht was well outfitted with a 3-inch deck gun that still sits in place on the bow. Much of the hull has collapsed, pancaking the decks below. The intact hull leans to the port side. Teak decks are in fair condition after nearly 60 years. Divers can find artifacts including personal crew items by digging in the sand aft of the collapsed wheelhouse. Divers beware: What remains of the depth charges still lie in racks in place on the stern. DO NOT DISTURB OR RECOVER THESE! Visibility is usually excellent on this wreck and the depth, 125 feet, makes a good choice for advanced wreck divers.
|Northern Pacific fog horn|
|2012 with Rus Bergeron with Fog Horn he recovered from Northern Pacific|
On .February 8, 1922, the Northern Pacific caught fire, burned and rolled over sinking 30 miles south of Cape May. Used as a troopship during World War I for over a dozen Atlantic crossings it was first dived in the late sixties by John Dudas, the Northern Pacific sits turtle in 150 feet of water. In the mid-seventies Danny Bresette recovered a propeller hub with ship's name positively identifying the site. This massive wreck yields numerous portholes and today is starting to bust open near the bow and midships. Rus Bergeron and Barb Mortensen recovered a large 8 foot fog horn in the mid nineties from the forward stack which can be seen at Atlantic Divers. New areas of disintegration have recently allowed further access into the interior of the passenger liner. Portholes will soon be overlooked for far more rewarding discoveries.
The Vessel was built in 1920, and sunk February 1939. The Northern Lillian sank due to the collision with SS Wiegand in dense fog at night, carrying sugar from Puerto Rico to NY. The Lillian struck the vessels starboard side at 33 degrees. It lays on the bottom at 150 feet like pick up sticks and has to boilers that are very identifiable.Offshore Paddle wheeler- Admiral Dupont?
This wreck awaits positive identification, but recently in light of the identification of the Inshore Paddle wheeler with the recovery of a luggage tag; Evidence now points to this wreck being the Admiral Dupont. This paddle wheeler sank due to a collision with the Stadacona on June 8, 1865. Adimiral Dupont lies in 150 feet of water, 32 miles east of Cape May, New Jersey. Diving the Dupont
This tug was built in 1919 by Johnson Iron Works of New Orleans, Louisiana . She was originally named the Degrey for the United States Shipping Board. Then renamed the Major Frazer and later as the M & J Tracy. When the tug was purchased by McAllister Brothers INC. she was renamed once more as the Patrice McAllister.
On October 4, 1976, the Patrice McAllister was in tow by the tug Judith McAllister bound for Jersey City, New Jersey, where the Patrice was due for an engine overhaul. Unfortunately, the tug sank just north of Atlantic City in a storm. The Captain of the Judith McAllister , was still attached to the wreck by his towing line. He stayed directly over her until the Coast Guard was able to buoy the location. The tug lies in 45 feet of water and is frequently dived.
|Patrice Mc Allister porthole|
Torpedoed by the German sub U-593 on May 25, 1942 in shallow water off Barnegate Light, this Panamanian tanker was partially salvaged, but much remains of the stern section. This wreckage is broken up over a large area leaving many homes for lobster and other unique marine life. Good visibility prevails in the late summer when the warm Gulf stream waters are pushed into the coast. A dive well worth the effort with a vast area of wreckage left to explore. Numerous portholes continue to be discovered here.
|Persephone porthole note triangle dogs|
Read more on our forum The Deep: Persephone
The Revenue Cutter Mohawk sank on October 1, 1917 due to a collision with the British tanker S.S. Vennacher, while on patrol off Sandy Hook, NJ. Good visibility is now common on this exciting wreck loaded with marine hardware and china. The china has the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service embossed mark.
Engine Room Telegraph
|Porthole from RC Mohawk with storm cover|
Discovered by Captain, Ed Boyle, the remains of this old schooner have produced a bell, a large pump, numerous dead eyes and large lobster through out the red brick reef. A massive cargo of bricks form a large mound rising over ten feet above the surrounding sand bottom. This mound extends for over one hundred feet. Large pieces of hull, rigging and anchors are buried beneath the bricks. The brick paved topography makes this an interesting dive.
|Portholes from the R P Resor|
|R P Resor cage light|
R. P. Resor was torpedoed February 27, 1942 by the German sub U-578 (Rewinkel). This 445 foot oil tanker burned for two days before sinking in 125 feet of water 30 miles east of Barnegat Light. By far, the most spectacular wreck off the coast for advanced divers. This humongous tanker was torpedoed and burned for two days before sinking. Divers can visit the 6-inch foyer deck gun at the stern or search the bridge and bow for lobsters and artifacts. Large lobster prowl the corridors and cod fish slumber below the hull plates.
Built in 1904, this coal-fired steamer sank on January 17, 1942 due to the collision with the SS Santa Elisa. The wreck now lies in 110 foot of water. Check Gary Gentiles Shipwrecks of New Jersey (south) for the story of it's sinking and also being a torpedo victim. The German sub Korvettenkapitan Reinhard Hardegen of the U-123, claimed the sinking in his log book.
A large intact wreck remains. The bow section is busted open on the port side. Here a cargo of tropical lumber remains bridled to the hull. San Jose was a United Fruit ship, as was the Almirante and Miraflores also sunk off the southern New Jersey coast.
This freighter was built 1879, powered by coal-fired steam. She was sunk on October 1918, while heading south from New York to Florida. The San Saba was carrying general cargo for the US Railroad administration when it struck a mine off the New Jersey coast. The mine was set by the German U-boat U-117. The bow section is known as the Magnolia, where magnolia ingots are occasionally uncovered by sifting sands. This is an excellent digging wreck and numerous bottles, spoons, dishes, bullets, screws and assorted oddities are recovered.
|San Saba letter opener|
|Spoons and tooth paste containers|
was a 582 foot Norwegian tanker, rammed by the Israeli luxury liner S.S. Shalom on November, 26, 1964. Only the stern half of the ship went to the bottom. The rest was towed into port. (There, they welded on a new stern and she continues to be in service today!) Now, the stern section lies in 130 feet of water, about 18 miles East of Point Pleasant. The remaining wreckage rises to a shallow 70 feet. Great visibility and the gigantic features of the Stolt make it a spectacular dive for all levels.
Stolt Dagali China
|Discovered by Atlantic Divers|
This 331 foot vessel was built in 1913. The wreck lies in 220 feet of water due to the bombs placed by the U-151, part of the Black Sunday sinking's. The wreck was first dived and discovered by Atlantic Divers.
|bridge window on Tolten|
Additionally the wreck is a breeding ground for lobster. Many large trophy lobster have been caught here over the decades. Numerous bugs set up homes throughout the debris and beams. In the late eighties a 26 lb. lobster was caught just under the stern by two divers on separate dives. One diver recovered the carapace after a preceding diver recovered only the crusher claw. The claw weighed 13 lbs. half the titanic bug's weight.
|Illustration by Wreck Artist Greg Modelle|
|Varanger dome light portholes and glass|
This 470 foot twin screw tanker was built in 1925. In January 1942, the Varanger was torpedoed by the U-130. The wreck lies in 150 feet of water, about 28bmiles off of Atlantic City, NJ and lies on her keel with the top relief of 110 ft. The tanker has a 4 inch deck gun that fell of the stern ripping the deck open like a can opener. Stacks of gun shells, dishes, ammo boxes, flashlights and gallery pots were exposed. Lynn DelCorio and Gene Peterson recovered a large bridge telegraph and a brass binnacle in the early nineties here.
|Vizcaya dead eye|
Read the: November 1,1890 New York Times article
|Silver sugar bowl with shipping lines inscription.|
William R. Farrel
|porthole from William R. Farrel|
For more information on these wrecks and others stop by the shop and pick up Gary Gentile's "Popular Dive Guide Series Shipwrecks of New Jersey" (North, Central, South).Gary Gentile
|1981 Promenade Windows|
|air dives forty sets of double 80's on dock|
|1983 Gimbel's hole 1st class china|
|Gambone art recovery 1993|
|Gambone artwork recovered on 1993 Moyer Expedition|
|Unusual Gambone Artwork|
|1996 Atlantic Divers|
|Atlantic Divers 1998|
|50th Anniversary dive 2006|
More North Atlantic Shipwrecks
|British Freedom tanker torpedoed off Halifax, Nova Scotia|
San Delfino- AKA: Sillanus Papoose
Helm recovered from the San Delfino- Sillanus Papoose off Virginia/North Carolina
|Discovery dive of the U-140 |
New JerseyArtificial Reef Program
Arthur W. Radford , Spruance Class Destroyer
Washington Post article on Subway Cars and Train Wreck