The SS Thurmond 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: (Seaside Park, Ocean County)
Take the Garden State Parkway to Exit 82 B, Rt 37 East. Stay on Rt
37 over the bridge then bear right at the fork. Turn left onto "N"
Street to Ocean and turn left on Ocean. Take Ocean Drive to "D"
Street. There is plenty of metered parking available. The wreck is
between "D" and "E" Streets.
The whale back steamer S.S. Thurmond was built by the American Steel
Barge Co. in 1890.Originally named Colgate Hoyt, she was 276.5 feet
long, had a 36.1 foot beam, displaced 1,253 gross tons, and was
powered by a single screw compound steam engine. In 1907, the
Colgate Hoyt was re-named Bay City and then in 1909,re-named for the
last time, Thurmond.
On December 25, 1909,Christmas day, while en-route from Newport
News, to Portland, Maine, and towing three schooner barges loaded
with coal, a storm struck forcing the Thurmond tocut loose her tow.
The Thurmond then turned to pick up the five crew as signed to each
barge, but only rescued the first five before all three barges sunk,
taking the remaining ten crew members to their watery graves. While
searching for survivors in the blinding snowstorm, the Thurmond ran
aground on the bar just off Seaside Park. According to Bill Davis's
book, SHIPWRECKS OF THE ATLANTIC, "the next morning when beach
master Captain Henry Ware of Toms River made his morning rounds, he
spotted the vessel and called his men to assist in the rescue". At
first they thought that the vessel could be saved but before any
attempt was made the Thurmond broke apart.
Today, the wreck lies in only 14 feet of water, 200 feet off "D"
Street in Seaside Park. Divers will find her two large boilers to be
the most significant and recognizable features on the site. For
years this wreck was known as the Boiler Wreck. It wasn't until
1984, while Bill Davis, Ed Eglentowicz and Joe Paola, were
researching wrecks sunk in the area when they uncovered what they
believe to be the wrecks true name, S.S. Thurmond.
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