The USS Ohio 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.
DIRECTIONS: (Greenport, Suffolk County)
Take the Long Island Expressway to Exit 73 East, Old Country
Road. Take this all the way into the town of Greenport. Old Country
Road will have changed into Route 25. Turn right onto 4th Street,
and then left onto Clark Street. Take this to the end and park.
The U.S.S. Ohio was built in 1817, and was launched from the
Brooklyn Navy Yard on May 20,1820. She was 208 feet long, had a
53foot beam and was classified as a 74-gun ship. The Ohio sat in
moth balls for eighteen years and was not commissioned until October
11, 1838. The Ohio became Commodore Isaac Hull's flagship. She
patrolled the Mediterranean for two years. In 1847, when the war
with Mexico broke out the Ohio landed marines in Vera Cruz. After
the war ended, the Ohio sailed to the west coast and provided
protection to the newly acquired California territory. On September
27,1883, after 63 years of faithful duty the Ohio was sold to
Israel L. Snow of Rockland, Maine. Later, the Ohio was sold for
scrap, which is how she ended up in Greenport. In April of 1884,
after being almost completely stripped, the Ohio broke from her
mooring during a storm and stranded at Fanning Point. The Ohio was
then burned to the water line in order to reduce the wreckage from
protruding through the ocean's surface.
It was not until1973, that local divers re-discovered the Ohio's
remains. The divers who found the site belonged to a branch of the
British Sub Aqua Club. They wanted to keep the site secret and off
limits to other divers as they planned to raise her artifacts and
donate them to a marine museum. Shortly after locating the wreck it
was learned that Mobil Oil Company of Greenport was planning to
install groups of pilings, called dolphins, for their oil barges.
These dolphins (poles) were to be installed directly through the
wreck site. The Sub Aqua Club protested and in doing so gave away
the wreck's general location.
Captain Steve Bielenda started his own search for the wreck. After
finding the Ohio's remains and returning to shore, Bielenda was
confronted by local police. The police and Village Board wanted to
keep the site off limits to all but Sub Aqua divers. Bielenda
latter contested in court and won the right for recreational sport
divers to dive the Ohio by showing that the wreck site was outside
of Greenport municipal boundaries and therefore not under the
jurisdiction of the board.
Today, the remains of the Ohio are mostly broken and buried. The
small amount of wood that remains above the sand is full of
wormholes and almost soft to the touch.
Finding the remains of the U.S.S. Ohio can be a little tricky. From
Clark Street, walk along the water's edge around the bend. There
will be the remains of an old iron bulkhead. Look on the water side
of this bulkhead for a pipe and some short poles. They are located
directly in front of the gate in the chain link fence. Use this as
a starting point. I usually swim straight out from this point until
I reach a depth of 20 to 25 feet, and then I swim west, staying in
this depth range until I find the wreck. If that doesn't work, I
have drawn a triangulation map of the shoreline view from directly
above the Ohio. Unfortunately, the old factory, part of my original
bearings, has been torn down and replaced by condominiums. Once
underwater, identifying the wreck site is most easily done by
finding the remaining submerged dolphins, which were imbedded
through the wreck by Mobil Oil Company. Divers can still find brass
spikes from the wreck, but they are getting fewer and further
USS Ohio Shipwreck. Photo Capt Dan Berg Long Island Shore Diver Collection.
USS Ohio Shipwreck site sketch. Photo Capt Dan Berg Long Island Shore Diver Collection.
USS Ohio Shipwreck site area. Photo Capt Dan Berg Long Island Shore Diver Collection.
Dan Berg on the USS Ohio Shipwreck. Photo Long Island Shore Diver Collection.
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