The Peter Rickmers 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.
The four-masted bark, Peter Rickmers, was built in Port Glasgow,
Scotland in 1889. She was designated as a four-masted bark in
England, but was classified as "fully rigged" in the United States.
She was 2,958 gross tons and considered to be one of the finest and
largest vessels of her kind.
On April 30, 1908,under the command of Captain Bachmann while en
route from Perth Amboy, New Jersey, to Rangoon, Burmah, with 120,000
cases of kerosene and crude oil, she was caught in a heavy southeast
gale. The wind and sea drove her hard aground near Short Beach. Due
to the treacherous surf, lifesavers from Zachs Inlet, Short Beach
and Point Lookout failed to get a boat to her. A message was sent,
and the R.C. Mohawk a vessel which
would herself sink in 1917 plus two tugboats came from Sandy Hook to
try their hand at pulling her off the bar. Their efforts failed. A
final attempt was made to lighten her by throwing over some of the
cargo, but this was too little too late. All crew members were
finally brought ashore, but Captain George Bachmann stayed aboard
with 40 wreckers who had boarded to try to save her precious cargo.
The wreckers stayed aboard during storm after storm. Finally on May
15, in fear for their lives, they were safely brought to shore in
breeches buoys by the lifesavers.
Today, the Oil Wreck, as she is sometimes called, sits in 15 to 20
feet of water completely buried beneath sand, one mile east of Jones
Inlet. In 1997 a clam dredge from Doxies snagged and subsequently
recovered a small flouted anchor from the area. This anchor may
prove to be from the Peter Rickmers wreck.
Peter Rickmers Shipwreck. Photo Dan Berg's Wreck Valley Collection.
Anchor recovered from the area of the Peter Rickmers Shipwreck. Photo Dan Berg's Wreck Valley Collection.
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