Famous Shipwrecks near Martha's Vineyard
Info for Scuba Diving
from New England Shipwreck Database

famous shipwrecks

Any list of famous shipwrecks would have to include the Titantic, the notorious shipwreck...

Our list is focused on ships that were lost near Martha's Vineyard, MA.

These wrecks were obviously not as large as the Titantic shipwreck, but they are of some interest historically as well as to divers.

We have a link to other famous shipwrecks below this list.

Ship Name:Port Hunter
Ship Length:380 ft
Ship Type:Steam Freighter
Ship Cargo:$5 million in clothing - sheepskin jackets, woolen underwear, rubber boots, olive drab shirts; $2 million in railroad car parts - wheel sets, 200 tons of high carbon steel in the form of railway billets; Swedish steel; pig lead; war Supplies - 3 million rounds of ammunition, motorcycles, machine guns, phosphorous bombs, trucks.
Wreck Coordinates:latitude 41° - 29' - 43" N; longitude 70° - 33' - 15" W.
Cause of Wreck:Collision with a tug named Covington
Dive Conditions:Except for the bridge and engine room sections, the Port Hunter is largely intact, listing to port on the fine, white sandy slope of Hedge Fence Shoal. Depths vary depending on the amount of sand build up. Only 20 feet of water covers her bow. Less than 100 feet aft on the port bow the "V" notch made when Covington dealt the fatal blow is visible in the freighter's hull plates. Drifting sand has engulfed most of its mid-section, which was blown apart by salvers looking for a rumored contraband gold cache. Fortunately for divers, strong tidal currents keep the stern section free from sand. Covered by 50 feet of water, a deck gun can be found on Port Hunter's stern. At a depth of 85 feet the vessels rudder and propeller shaft can still be seen, salvers removed the propeller. Due to strong tidal currents it is advised to explore this wreck only at slack water.

Ship Name:Ardandhu
Ship Length:281 ft
Ship Type:steel freighter
Ship Cargo:5770 bales of hay
Wreck Location:Southwest end of Naushon Island, Vineyard Sound
Cause of Wreck:Collision
Dive Conditions:The wreck was close to shipping lanes so it was destroyed by explosives after determining it could not be raised.

Ship Name:French Van Gilder
Ship Length:120 ft
Ship Type:wood 3 mast schooner
Ship Cargo:paving stones
Wreck Coordinates:latitude 41° - 24.1' N; longitude 70° - 13' W.
Cause of Wreck:struck Tuckernuck Shoal
Dive Conditions:This should make for an interesting dive site, if the ever-shifting sand and gravel banks of the region have not completely buried it. Four wrecks reportedly occupy this site. The first of which is the French Van Gilder, whose cargo of paving stones established the back breaking reef that claimed the second wreck, Alice M. Lawrence, a six-masted schooner without cargo, in 1914. Three years later, the Canadian coal schooner Unique laid its bones atop the pile and the last was, appropriately, a small salvage vessel.

This data was gathered from a shipwreck database, the Coastal Zone Management website and the wreckhunter.net website.

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