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.
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
Underwater Photo by
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.
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