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The Beach 59th Street Shipwreck  New York and New Jersey's (Wreck Valley)
Historical and current New York ands New jersey Shipwreck Information and images for scuba divers and fisherman.
 
BEACH 59th STREET WRECK

DIRECTIONS:             (Far Rockaway, Queens)
Take the Southern State Parkway to Exit 19 South, which is Peninsula Boulevard. Drive south on Peninsula to Rockaway Turnpike and turn left. Turn right on Burnside Ave and take Burnside to Beach Channel Drive and continue to head west. The wreck is located at the base of Summerville Basin on the bay side of 59th street. Parking is not currently available to the public and special arrangements would have to be made. As a side note I would like to forewarn anyone who visits this area. This neighborhood is, to say the least, not the best. One of our biggest concerns when diving here was whether or not our car would be stolen while we were underwater.

CONDITIONS:
On the bay side of Far Rockaway just off 59th St is the remains of an 80 foot long luxury yacht. The wreck appears to have sunk at its slip and now sits upright and intact on a silty bottom in 25 feet of water.

This wreck is big and penetration is possible. Remember that entering into any overhead environment should only be done by those who have proper training, equipment and experience. In describing the wreck's layout I will start in the bow and work my way astern. Near the bow is a large square deck hatch, there is also a round one but that one only leads to a rope locker. By entering the square hatch and swimming astern you will pass a bathroom and a staircase on the port side. This corridor leads to the vessel's engine room where two diesels are located. The silt in this wreck is kicked up very easily so be careful. Instead of entering the engine room, the alternative is to head up the spiral staircase. These stairs lead to her main salon. To exit this room swim to the far starboard corner. This area also can be reached by entering the doorway on the starboard side of her pilot house. If divers enter this doorway and head forward the first left turn will lead into her pilot house, the next room is the galley, and finally the large dining room. From the stern, the only recommended way into the wreck is through the door into the aft cabin. This is a large roomwith a silt covered floor. In the forward port corner is another spiral staircase that leads down to the sleeping quarters. At the bottom of the stairs divers will find a corridor that leads aft, but be careful as this corridor is very collapsed.


I was first brought to this wreck by Darryl Steinhauser of Dive, Inc. back in 1988. The wreck was located behind an old abandoned, burnt down boat yard. On my first dive here I was lucky enough to recover a brass porthole. Over the next two years we would dive this wreck whenever it was too rough to get offshore. We have retrieved more than twenty portholes of three different sizes, and an assortment of cage lamps, fittings, horns and china. One of the easiest portholes recovered was found by Steve Jonassen.  He found it inside a cabinet drawer, apparently set aside as a spare part. Many of the portholes were found by swimming around the outside of the wreck until a porthole with glass was spotted. Then one diver would shine his light through the glass and the other would go inside to look for the light beam. By using this method we located several portholes that would have otherwise been missed. Some were inside closets, some behind shelves and one was behind a large electrical fuse box.

The whole area around the wreck is also very productive. In fact, while navigating from shore to the wreck we found at least ten other smaller cabin cruiser wrecks. In 1991, the old boat yard was sold and a new boat yard was built. Many of the smaller wrecks were raised and new pilings and floating docks were installed. Amazingly, the 59th Street Wreck remained untouched. The wreck is under the west side floating dock about 100 feet offshore. Unfortunately,  I do not believe the owners of the new boatyard would appreciate divers swimming under their docks, but who knows, maybe in the winter when all the boats are pulled they might give permission.
Remember penetration into any shipwreck should only be done by those with proper training, experience and wreck diving equipment.

 

Sketch of the 59th Street Wreck. Courtesy Long Island Shore Diver Collection.

Dan Berg recovering a porthole from the 59th Street Wreck. Photo by Joe Koppelman.

Dan Berg recovering a porthole from the 59th Street Wreck. Photo by Joe Koppelman.

Bill Campbell finds an intact porthole. Photo by Dan Berg

Dan Berg with a cage lamp from the 59th Street Wreck. Courtesy Long Island Shore Diver Collection.

Dan Berg recovering a porthole from the 59th Street Wreck. Photo by Joe Koppelman.

Dan Berg recovering a porthole from the 59th Street Wreck. Photo by Joe Koppelman.

Dan Berg recovering a porthole from the 59th Street Wreck. Photo by Joe Koppelman.

Dan Berg recovering a porthole from the 59th Street Wreck. Photo by Joe Koppelman.

Dan Berg with portholes from the 59th Street Wreck. Courtesy Long Island Shore Diver Collection.

Porthole. Photo by Dan Berg

Bill Campbell recovered this porthole from the 59th Street Wreck. Courtesy Long Island Shore Diver Collection.

Dan Berg recovering a porthole from the 59th Street Wreck. Photo by Joe Koppelman.

 
   

 

 

 

 
 

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