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The Tolten 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.

Formerly named the S.S. Lotta, the Tolten, a 280 foot by 43 foot Danish steamer, was taken over and renamed by the Chilean government when WW II began in Europe.  She was built in 1938, displaced 1,858 gross tons and had the distinct misfortune of being the first Chilean vessel sunk during the war.

On March 13, 1942,the Tolten, having unloaded her cargo of nitrates a day earlier, was travelling in ballast to New York when she was struck by a pair of German torpedoes fired from the U-404. The subsequent explosions ripped the ship apart, sending her to the bottom within six minutes.  At the time of her sinking, Chile was a neutral country and had been assured by Germany that none of her ships would be attacked as long as they travelled with their running lights on.  The Tolten had been stopped before her attack by a U.S. Navy patrol boat and had been warned to be on the lookout for submarines and to travel "Blacked Out".  Much to her demise, the Tolten took the patrol boat's advice. Out of 28 crew members, only the electrician, Julio Faust, survived to tell the story. Julio managed to cling to a life raft for nearly twelve hours before being picked up by a Coast Guard vessel.

Today, The Tolten's broken up hull can be found lying on her starboard side in 90 feet of water, 40miles out of Debs Inlet and 16 miles from Barnegat Inlet.  Since her sinking, she has been wire dragged clear to a depth of 50 feet, so as not to be a hazard to navigation.

Underwater Photo by Herb Segars: Beth Dalzell of West Orange, NJ and Brick, NJ holds a North American lobster on the shipwreck, Tolten, off the coast of New Jersey, USA.

Spare propeller on the Tolten shipwreck. Photo courtesy Brandon

Helm from the Tolten Shipwreck. Mike DeCamp Photo.







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