The Rye Cliff Ferry 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.
RYE CLIFF FERRY WRECK
DIRECTIONS: (Sea Cliff, Nassau County)
Take the Long Island Expressway to Exit 39, Glen Cove Road
North. This will change names to Cedar Swamp Road. Proceed north
until the end and make a left turn onto Glen Cove Avenue. Make a
right turn onto Short Drive, which will take you along the water. At
the end of this road, before Shore Drive turns to go uphill, there
is a small park overlooking the Sound. Parking is available all
along the south side of Shore Drive. During the summer, Shore Drive
becomes a one-way street, so a small detour will have to betaken.
The Rye Cliff Ferry Wreck was built in 1898, and named the General
Knox. It was later sold and renamed the Rye Cliff. This car ferry,
which was 137 feet long, burned to the water line and sank on
September 28th, 1918, while at its dock in Sea Cliff.
To find this wreck, divers should walk into the park and take a
compass bearing of 230 degrees out from the telephone pole with the
white sign mounted to it. Divers should then carefully climb down
the rocks and swim along that course for about 50 yards. There
shouldn't be too much of a problem finding the wreck since it is
scattered over a very large area.
Also known as the Sea Cliff Park Wreck, or Ferry Wreck, she lies
very low and is mostly sanded over. One small section protrudes up
about eight feet off the bottom. In this particular spot a few
black fish can usually be seen. The rest of the wreckage lies a
little further offshore. Divers who visit this wreck should not
expect to find too many remains, but if they look hard enough and
fan around in the sand, brass spikes and other artifacts can still
Back in 1986, we found the brass rudder gudgeon from the wreck. The
artifact was still attached to the wreck and even after several
dives would not even budge. The gudgeon is still there ready to be
salvaged by some ambitious diver.
In 1992, I returned to the wreck with Rick Schwarz and Mike McMeekin.
We were experimenting with different types of underwater
detectors and chose this site because it was shallow, relatively
calm and had decent visibility. Anyway Rick, Mike and I soon found
how productive metal detectors really can be. We each recovered 20or
so brass spikes, by scanning the sand surrounding the wreck.
Rye Cliff Ferry Wreck. Photo courtesy Dan Berg's Long Island Shore Diver Collection.
Artifact from the Rye Cliff Ferry Wreck. Photo courtesy Dan Berg's Long Island Shore Diver Collection.
Dan Berg with an artifact from the Rye Cliff Ferry Wreck. Photo courtesy Dan Berg's Long Island Shore Diver Collection.
Rye Cliff Ferry Wreck.
area. Photo courtesy Dan Berg's Long Island Shore Diver Collection.
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