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Shipwrecks of Virginia

  • Anglo African. A 4,186 ton freighter sunk after being stranded on Cape Charles on January 5, 1909. Although seldom dived because of the usually less than favorable conditions near the Cape, this can be a very interesting wreck.(25 fsw)

  • Brass Spike Wreck. A wooden hulled steam assisted sailing vessel that was discovered in 1994. This vessel has brass spikes (thus the name) in the hull. The treasure of this wreck is waiting to be discovered.(85 fsw)

  • Buarque. A 5,152 ton passenger freighter sunk after being torpedoed during on Feb. 15, 1942. This is an extremely interesting wreck and has only been dived a couple times.(250 fsw)

  • Cuyahoga. 320 ton USCG Cutter that sank after colliding with the 12,762 ton MV Santa Cruz II near Smith Point, Va. on October 20, 1978. Eleven men lost their lives in the collision. The Cuyahoga was raised and later sunk as an artificial reef. The wreck is upright, intact and interesting to explore.(120 fsw)

  • David Atwater. 2,438 ton collier torpedoed by the U-552 on April 2, 1942. The wreck is on it's port side and is most frequently dived from Chincoteague or Ocean City, Md.(70 fsw)

  • Doxie Girl.An intact clam boat that sank during the 1970s.(60 fsw)

  • Ethel C. 2,847 ton freighter sank on April 16, 1960 after it's cargo of scrap iron shifted while traveling from New York to Newport News, Va. The wreck is upright and intact. There are three levels of superstructure amidships. The navigation bridge rises to 140 fsw. The engine room is located in the stern and is now accessible through the skylight, which collapsed sometime during the winter of 1994/1995. Because the amidships section is so interesting, the stern is explored less frequently. There are likely still many interesting artifacts to recover.(190 fsw)

  • Eureka. 3,531 ton four masted steam schooner sunk after colliding with the British steamer Benison on May 6, 1888. The Eureka was sailing from New York to New Orleans with a cargo of general merchandise. Some of the artifacts recovered include porcelain dolls, miniature sets of china, numerous types of bottles, steam gauges, deadeyes, portholes, a small bell, a silver lantern, a gold pocket watch, and an ornate capstan cover. This is a fascinating wreck.(115 fsw)

  • Gulf Hustler. A fishing trawler that sank during high seas in 1974. The wheel house is open, interesting to explore. The upper portion of the wreck is coated with mussels and Atlantic green eels can be seen in the engine room. (75 fsw)

  • Hanks. A clam dredge that sank in rough seas southeast of Rudee Inlet. The wreck is intact and upright with a slight list to port.(70 fsw)

  • Kingston Ceylonite. A 448 ton British ship that was loaned to the USA at the beginning of WW II for escort and mine sweeping duty. The ship sank on June 15, 1942 and it is unclear as to whether she hit a German mine or was struck by a torpedo from the U-701. The wreck is largely broken up but still a good dive.(60 fsw)

  • Lillian Luckenbach. 6,369 ton freighter sunk on March 27, 1943 after colliding with SS Cape Henlopen. The wreck lies on it's port side. The bow and stern are recognizably intact, the amidships section is more broken down. The superstructure is scattered in the sand.(105 fsw)

  • Merida. 6,207 ton passenger freighter sunk on May 12, 1911 after colliding the SS Admiral Farragut. The Merida is rumored to have gone down with a significant amount of silver and copper. Over the years there have been numerous attempts to recover treasure, one reportedly dating back to 1917. If any of the attempts were successful, it was kept quiet. With sport divers venturing deeper in recent years, the Merida is accessible but seldom dived. (210 fsw)

  • John Morgan. 7,176 ton Liberty ship sunk on it's maiden voyage on June 1, 1943 after colliding with the SS Montana. The John Morgan was loaded with lend-lease cargo which included trucks, motorcycles, P-39 airplanes, 10 Valentine tanks and tons of assorted weapons.(110 fsw)

  • Ocean Venture. 7,174 ton freighter sunk in 160' after being torpedoed by the U-108 on February 8, 1942. The hull is basically upright, the stern is listing to port. The engine and boilers are most impressive. The bridge is upside down just off of the port side. The helm, telegraph, numerous portholes, and many other artifacts have been recovered. This is a dive for experienced divers only due to the depth of 170 fsw.(170 fsw)

  • Francis E. Powell. 7,140 ton tanker torpedoed by the U-130 on January 27, 1942. The wreck is broken into at least two sections. The stern section is off of Parramore Island in 90 fsw. The section frequently dived off of Virginia Beach is almost unrecognizable as either the bow or amidships section. If, in fact, the wreck is in more than two sections, one section remains to be found. (90 fsw)

  • Rick's. An intact fishing trawler sitting upright. The wreck is covered with all kinds of marine life. (80 fsw)

  • Santore. 7,117 ton bulk cargo carrier sunk after striking a mine laid by the U-701 on June 17, 1942. The starboard gunwale was awash after sinking and eventually the wreck was reduced to an enormous pile of debris. Although there is little resemblance to a ship, the Santore is frequently dived. (60 fsw)

  • Tiger. 5,992 ton tanker sunk after being torpedoed by the U-754 on April 1, 1942. Except for the point of the bow, there is very little that remains recognizable as a ship. (60 fsw)

  • Tower/Reef. An area south east of the Chesapeake Light tower that was created as part of Virginia's artificial reef program. This reef contains a variety of barges, tanks, ships, and other items. There are too many wrecks to list individually. The wreckage is a combination of small ships and large barges donated by the US Navy and local industry. All of the wrecks attract a wide variety of fish.(50 - 80 fsw)

  • Triangle Wrecks. This is an artificial reef composed of four liberty ships that were stripped of all superstructure to the main deck. The typical depth to the main deck is 100 ft. (95 - 120 fsw)

  • USS Washington. 32,600 ton US Battleship sunk as a parctice target on November 25, 1924. The Washington is upside down and virtually never dived.(290 fsw)

  • Winthrop. 189 ton tug foundered on July 20, 1920. The wreck is upright and listing slightly to port. Many interesting artifacts have been recovered from the wreck including the helm, portholes, a sextant, a vintage camera, the builders plaque and one anchor.(60 fsw)


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