Click on wreck name on
chart for complete history of each shipwreck. Or check out our complete
data base of New England shipwreck information below.
Expo Free Newsletter
Sign up for our free e-mail shipwreck, diving and Treasure
Hunting newsletter. Capt. Dan Berg has designed this e-mail
service for all wreck divers, maritime historians and
New England Shipwreck
Art by Capt. Dan Berg
of New England
paddle wheel steamship Portland was one of the largest and most
palatial vessels afloat in New England during the 1890s. Built in 1889,
the steamer ran between Portland, Maine and Boston until its loss with
all hands in 1898.
According to the The
Gerry E. Studds Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary "The
sanctuary, in partnership with the National Undersea Research Center at
the University of Connecticut (NURC-UConn), visits Portland
yearly with a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to learn about the
steamship's construction, why it sank, and the experiences of the
passengers and crew
during the storm. Portland's loss is New England's greatest steamship
disaster prior to the year 1900.
Four years of historical
and archaeological studies by the sanctuary and NURC-UConn culminated in
Portland's inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.
The steamship is significant to the history of New England and more
specifically to the history of Maine and Massachusetts"
On December 8th 2008 the
following story was posted on The Deco Stop. "Forget about the blizzard
of 1978. The granddaddy of all New England storms is the Gale of 1898.
Caught in the middle of its howling winds and towering seas, the steamer
Portland tried, but failed, to ride out the waves, finally sinking and
taking 192 passengers and crew to a watery grave. Tonight, Peter Mehegan
recounts that fateful event. And Mary Richardson brings us a 21st
century coda: the story of five Massachusetts adventurers who did the
unthinkable, testing the limits of human endurance as they dove nearly
500 feet to see the wreck up close for the first time".
Sank September 26, 1908
Discovered October 9, 2003 by the NOAA vessel Thomas Jefferson
operations by the crew of the dive boat Baccala conducted October 17th,
Divers confirmed the wreck to be the Norwegian Tramp Steamer Volund.
side scan sonar image courtesy Mark Munro
The Sinking and Discovery of A 19th Century Lime Carrier
On December 6th 2008 the discovery and identification of the
shipwreck Trajan in Newport Harbor was the culmination of luck,
perseverance and research by Divers/Maritime Historians John Stanford
and Mark Munro.
The Trajan was a Bark rigged
sailing vessel and took her name from the Roman Emperor Trajan. She
was built in 1856 at the yard of H. Merrian in Rockland Maine, had a
length of 125’, a beam of 29’ 6” and a draft of 13’. From 1856 to 1864
she made several passages between New York, Cuba, and England. By 1867
she was engaged in the Rockland Lime Trade under the command of Captain
At the time of the Trajan’s loss,
August 17, 1867, she was on a voyage from Rockland Maine to New Orleans
carrying a cargo of lime.
Lime was a dangerous cargo:
if it got wet, a chemical reaction created heat and sometimes caused the
schooner to catch fire. This was to be Trajan’s undoing.
On September 27, 2008
Munro and Stanford conducted a Side Scan Sonar and Magnetometer Survey
in the area where extensive research indicated the Trajan
shipwreck should be located. On the fist side scan sonar pass a large
prominent target was observed with the dimensions from the sonogram
consistent with what might be expected if it were the Trajan.
During post processing it was also noted that there was a significant
magnetometer reading associated with this target.
Not wanting to wait
until the spring to investigate this target they decided to plan a
winter time exploratory dive. On December 5th 2008 they
motored to the site in Stanford's AVON and using a depth recorder
located a rise on the bottom at the predicted location of the target.
The two then anchored the boat over the site. After donning they're
dive gear and descending to the bottom they were greeted by a large
mound of concreted Lime. Stanford and Munro then knew that they had
indeed found the long lost remains of the Trajan.
Side scan sonar image and
text courtesy Mark Munro
Holmes Ship Building Company, West Mystic Connecticut
Keel laid: April, 1901
Dimensions: 249' x 46' x 26.9'
Tonnage: 1952 net, 2227 gross
Launched: February 11, 1902
Sunk: September 5, 1903
Cause of sinking: Collision with S.S. Schoenfels
On February 11th, 1902, in
West Mystic, Connecticut, the largest coasting schooner built outside
of the Maine shipyards slid down the ways of the Holmes Shipbuilding
Company. Nineteen months later the Jennie R. Dubois, sunk in a
collision with the Steamship Schoenfels, was resting on the
sandy bottom southeast of Block Island, Rhode Island. Once cleared as
a menace to navigation, the Dubois was lost to history and her
location remained unknown to local divers and historians. Join me,
Mark Munro, in this presentation on the recently discovered secrets of
the five-masted coasting schooner Jennie R. Dubois.
text courtesy Mark Munro