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

Shipwreck Pinta

 The Pinta was a 194 foot long by 31 foot, 500 ton Dutch freighter.  She was built in 1959 by N.V. Bodewes, and was owned by Dammers & Vanderheids Shipping and Trading Company, located in the Netherlands. 

 On May 8, 1963, the Pinta was inbound from Central America, and carrying a cargo of teak lumber. It was just after sunset on a Tuesday evening. Weather conditions were good with the wind blowing out of the southwest at 17 knots, seas where running 3 to 4 feet and visibility was in excess of 14 miles. At 7:59 PM the Pinta was struck broadside on her port side by the 7,547 ton British freighter, SS City of Perth.  The Coast Guard received the following message "The City Of Pert struck Pinta, registered Rotterdam. This ship and Dutch vessel making water. Require immediate assistance." While assistance from the Coast Guard was on the way they received another  radio message, " Pinta crew abandoning ship and rowing to board me. Pinta listing to port." At 8:46 PM a final message was received " No further assistance needed." The Pinta had remained afloat for only 48 minutes while all twelve of her crew including Captain Korpelshoek took to a life boat and boarded the City of Perth. The Pinta then slipped beneath the waves settling in 85 feet of water.

 Despite a huge gash in her bow the City Of Perth proceeded safely back to New York harbour under her own power.

 The collision was never investigated by the Coast Guard because it involved two foreign vessels in sailing in international water and the Pinta's wreckage posed no hazard to navigation.  To date, we really don't know who was at fault or even how two modern vessels with radar could have collided on a clear calm night.

 Today, The Pinta lies in 85 to 90  feet of water, eight miles from Shark River Inlet and 22  miles out of Rockaway Inlet, in an area known as Wreck Valley.  She rests on her port side and is still almost completely intact. Her masts and boom protrude from the wreck and lye in the sand. Her cargo holds are open exposing her cargo of lumber. This pile of boards is now a favorite area for divers to search for lobsters.

 Since this is one of the most intact shipwrecks in the area navigation is fairly simple. Once descending to the sand simply keep her deck on your right side to swim to the bow and of course the opposite to head astern. I run my boat out of Debs inlet Long Island and because of the long run, I don't get a chance to dive the Pinta as often as I would like, but when I do get their I have never been disappointed. Three weeks ago Rick Schwarz and I were aboard the dive boat Rebel, out of Sheepshead Bay. We were filming for the cable television series Dive Wreck Valley, which airs on SPORTS CHANNEL Cable Network. When we arrived on the site, jumped in and started to descend down the anchor line we could not believe our eyes, visibility was to say the least fantastic. At only twenty feet we could see the complete wreck lying on the bottom. We covered the entire exterior of the wreck in one dive, swimming and filming from bow to stern. Rick even caught two lobsters, one by searching through the Pinta's cargo area and the other by wiggling into her smoke stack. After the dive we each remarked at how clear the visibility had been on this picture perfect shipwreck.

The Pinta may not have the interesting history that other vessels with in Wreck Valley have but she certainly makes up for that with great dive conditions at a relatively shallow depth. Good visibility and the abundance of marine life on the Pinta are the norm, and the picturesque value of this intact story book shipwreck adds greatly to the over all wreck diving experience.  

Underwater Photograph by Herb Segars: The Pinta lies in 85' of water, approximately 8 miles from Shark River Inlet. The Pinta was a 500 ton Dutch freighter that sunk after a collision with the SS City of Perth. The ship sank quickly but no lives were lost due to the quick response by rescuers. She did go to the bottom with her cargo of bulkhead lumber. She measured 194' feet long, with a 31' beam and a draft of nearly 13', and weighed just over 1000 tons deadweight. The ship was powered by an oil engine and a single screw. The cause of the accident was a mystery. The weather was clear. The wind was blowing at 17 knots and seas were in the three to four foot range.

Image Below Courtesy Brandon

Andrew Nagle recovered this wheel house porthole from the Pinta. Image courtesy Andrew Nagle.

Pinta Shipwreck. Photo courtesy Dan Berg Wreck Valley Collection.

Pinta Shipwreck sketch. Photo courtesy Dan Berg Wreck Valley Collection.

Pinta Shipwreck. Photo courtesy Dan Berg Wreck Valley Collection.

Pinta Shipwreck. Photo courtesy Dan Berg Wreck Valley Collection.

Bell from Pinta Shipwreck. Photo courtesy Dan Berg Wreck Valley Collection.






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