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The Linda Shipwreck  New York's Wreck Valley
Historical and current New York's Shipwreck Information and images for scuba divers and fisherman.
 

Shipwreck Linda

The unidentified wreck known as the LINDA sits on a clean sand bottom, 20 miles out of Fire Island Inlet, about ten miles southwest of the Oregon wreck. She is sitting upright in 135 to 140 feet of water and is best known of the amount of dead eyes that divers have recovered from her remains.

 For years, many people have speculated that this wreck is actually the remains of the Charles R. Morse, the schooner that had left Baltimore for Boston with a cargo of coal on March 6, 1886. The Morse was most likely the schooner that struck and sunk the Oregon on March 14 of the same year. I have even seen articles that desperately try to connect the two by association of date and location. I for one am not convinced. In fact, although it is entirely possible, I would expect an extreme amount of bow damage to a small wooden schooner that pierced through the huge steel hull of the Oregon. In fact, the NEW YORK TIMES reported that the "Coaster which had done all the damage drifted about in the neighborhood of the Oregon throughout the morning, her head gear all gone and her cutwater stove in". The bow of the Linda wreck is relatively intact. Only time will tell her true identity. Someone will surely find an artifact that will allow us to settle this debate once and for all. Recently, divers have come close. A few years back her bell was brought to the surface but unfortunately it didn't bear any name or marking that would help us in identification. Diver George Quirk found her compass which was still mounted into a gimbel and had calibration dates. This may help in identifying the Linda, but additional investigation and information is needed.

      Today the remains of the Linda sit upright and remarkably intact. Her bowsprit is broken off and sits in the sand just under the nose of her bow.  The bowsprit is also tangled and almost completely covered in a draggers lost fish net,  Her large fluted anchor is still mounted into position on her port side.  Just aft of her bow is the schooners large winch, once used to raise her heavy anchor. The Wrecks sides are intact and stand a good eight feet tall but her stern section is broken down low lying and scattered. The wrecks interior decking has collapsed exposing her cargo of coal. This cargo of coal has been used by many marine historians in their argument that this is actually the wreck of the Charles R. Morse, which was also a coal coiler. Unfortunately coal was a common cargo in the era and any similarity is most likely only coincidental. Off the wrecks starboard side is a debris field, possibly the remains of her decking or deck house. Divers can also find and recognize one of her masts lying in the sand off her port side.

      The Linda sits in relatively deep but clear water. Visibility in the area often exceeds 60 feet. Last summer we filmed an episode of the Dive Wreck Valley television series on the Linda. Over the course of three filming trips we never had less then 70 ft of visibility. Our divers also found the Linda to hold an abundance of large lobsters and best of all Dead Eyes can still be found by divers who carefully search the sand surrounding the wreck. For anyone eager to see in more detail what diving conditions are like on the Linda copies of the Linda Video are available through your local dive store. Due to her depth the Linda is certainly an advanced dive but for experienced divers looking for artifacts and lobsters the Linda is hard to beat.  

 

Capt. Steve Bielenda, Mike McMeekin and Joe Koppelman with a dead eye recovered from the Linda shipwreck. Photo by Dan Berg

Below Lobster bites divers finger. Filmed by Capt. Dan on the Linda Shipwreck

 

Underwater sketch of the Linda Shipwreck by Dan Berg and Aaron Hirsh.

Mike McMeekin, Dan Berg and Capt. Steve Bielenda with lobsters and a dead eys from the Linda Shipwreck.

Artifacts from the Linda Wreck. Photo by Dan Berg

Early sketch of the Linda wreck by Dan Berg. This was later converted by Aaron Hirsh into a 3-d image of the shipwreck.

Capt. Rick Schwarz and Joe Koppelman with a dead eye recovered from the wreck. Photo by Dan Berg

Courtesy Dan Berg and Aaron Hirsh Wreck Valley Collection

Courtesy Dan Berg and Aaron Hirsh Wreck Valley Collection

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 

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