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New Jersey Scuba Diving

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New Jersey Scuba Diving

I'm looking for recent dive/fishing reports of the Radford. If you've been there in the last year or two, I'd like to hear what you found. In particular, where is the stern now? I can find no reports since 2012.

Garden State North Artificial Reef

New Jersey Reefs

6.5 Nautical Miles off Harvey Cedars

This reef is also scattered with Army tanks, and tire units in the east ( not shown. ) Minimum clearance at mean low water is 50 feet.

Redbird Subway Cars reef
Redbird car on the reef

Garden State North Artificial Reef


Aqua II

Garden State North Reef

Aqua II reef

Type:
shipwreck, barge, water
Built:
1913, Camden NJ USA
Specs:
( 110 x 30 ft )
Sponsor:
Eklof Marine Co., Marine Trades Assn. of NJ, Fisherman Magazine
Sunk:
Saturday November 7, 1987
GPS:
39°37.474' -74°01.217'
Depth:
80 ft

The pilot house was removed prior to sinking. The Aqua II appears to be more of a schooner barge than a barge, and is certainly the oldest vessel sunk on the Garden State North Artificial Reef.


Choctaw

Garden State North Reef

Choctaw reef
Photo courtesy of McAllister Towing

Type:
shipwreck, tugboat
Name:
An Indian tribe of south and central Mississippi, later forcibly moved to the Oklahoma territory.
Built:
1966, Brooklyn NY USA (Bushey Yard)
Specs:
( 90 x 24 ft )
Sponsor:
Spentonbush Red Star Company, Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club, Fish America, Atlantic County Reef Society
Sunk:
Tuesday April 7, 1991
GPS:
39°37.894' -74°01.284'
Depth:
75 ft

intact, semi-upright, surrounded by tire units

Choctaw reef
A close shave during sinking. Unlike the Spartan, the moveable pilot house of this canal tug is in the up position.

Choctaw reef
Twin sister Crow


Coleman II

Garden State North Reef

Coleman reef

Type:
shipwreck, barge
Specs:
( 60 x 25 ft )
Sponsor:
Coleman Construction Co, Fish America, Artificial Reef Association
Sunk:
Wednesday June 21, 1995
GPS:
39°37.296' -74°01.214'
Depth:
80 ft

Fatuk

Garden State North Reef

Fatuk reef

Type:
shipwreck, freighter
Built:
1963, Japan
Specs:
( 160 x 25 ft )
Sponsor:
US Customs Service, Fish America, Sportfish Fund
Sunk:
Thursday October 27, 1988
GPS:
39°37.609' -74°01.037'
Depth:
80 ft

The Fatuk was a Japanese long-line fishing ship, converted from a refrigerated freighter. It was confiscated by the U.S. Customs Service for attempting to smuggle 2000 pounds of marijuana into the country in a freezer.

Fatuk reef

As is evident in the photo above, the Fatuk went over on her port side. There is no longer any sign of the superstructure, and the vessel has turned over about 135 degrees in total - almost upsidedown.

Fatuk reef

The rudder and propeller

Fatuk reef
Looking forward along the starboard bilge keel - the highest point on the wreck

Fatuk reef

The bow, with a large mooring bit

Fatuk reef
A distinctive bit of machinery at the break near where the bridge would be


Good Times

Garden State North Reef

Good Times reef
Making history - the Good Times was the first vessel sunk by the
New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife's ( then ) new Artificial Reef Program.

Type:
shipwreck, charter boat
Specs:
( 52 x 14 ft )
Sunk:
Wednesday August 15, 1984
GPS:
unknown
Depth:
80 ft

The engine was removed and the wooden hull was filled with concrete and tire units. The Good Times broke apart after only a few weeks on the bottom, and is now completely disintegrated. The program has had enormous successes since this first small beginning.


Jerry

Garden State North Reef

Jerry reef

Type:
shipwreck, tugboat
Built:
1952 Port Arthur TX USA
Specs:
( 42 x 15 ft ) 27 tons
Sponsor:
Artificial Reef Association
Sunk:
Monday September 15, 1997
GPS:
39°37.757' -74°00.828'
Depth:
80 ft

Gulfport Shipbuilding, Port Arthur TX, o/n 264371, for Jerry Towing Corp


YOGN-8 "John Dobilas"

Garden State North Reef

John Dobilas reef

Type:
shipwreck, tanker
Specs:
( 165 x 35 ft )
Sponsor:
Friends & the McGraw Hill Foundation
Dedication:
John Dobilas
Sunk:
Tuesday August 20, 1996
GPS:
39°37.564' -74°01.341'
Depth:
80 ft

on starboard side, reef also includes 5 tanks

"John Dobilas" is a twin to the "Mako Mania " and the "Captain Bart". See construction for more photos of this class of ship. The "N" in the classification is for "non-self-propelled" - at some point her engine must have broken down, and wasn't worth fixing.

The job of these little tankers was to store and distribute fuel in port, not carry it long distances. The Navy classified them as self-propelled barges. They could get around in protected waters without assistance, and could even deploy overseas, although slowly crossing the open ocean in one of these must have been a little scary. Fully loaded, they have practically no freeboard. They were not equipped for navigation, and crew facilities were rudimentary.

The "yard tanker" role has largely been taken over by tugs and barges. However, these hulls are renowned for their toughness and longevity, much like the AKL freighters. These small vessels lasted decades after their bigger brothers went to the breakers, and many of them are still in use today. One of the 156 foot YO-153 class is the star of "The Deadliest Catch:"

F/V Wizard
Former YO-210, built 1945, purchased in 1974 and extensively modified for crab fishing in Alaska

F/V Wizard
These old hulls seem to be indestructible

With raised sides and a completely new superstructure, she bears little resemblance to her former self. What you can't see is that she is re-engined with a much more powerful turbo-diesel, turning a more efficient modern propeller, and she also has a bow thruster installed. All this makes her much more seaworthy, able to cope even with Alaskan weather. The engine room is greatly enlarged for extra generators and hydraulics, to drive the cranes and refrigeration plant.


Mary C

Garden State North Reef

Mary C reef

Type:
shipwreck, barge, tank
Built:
1944, Bayonne NJ, as AOG-23 Ammonusuc
Specs:
( 240 x 38 ft )
Sponsor:
Eklof Marine Co., Fish America, Atlantic County Reef Society, Princeton Dive Club, Village Harbor Fishing Club, Fish Hawks
Sunk:
Tuesday October 30, 1990
GPS:
39°37.168' -74°01.720'
Depth:
80 ft

Mary C reef
Side-scan sonar image, showing a great deal of detail

AOG-23 Ammonusuc

Mary C reef

Built in 1944, by East Coast Shipyards Incorporated of Bayonne, New Jersey ( hull #5 ) as the Ammonusuc ( design number USMC #1520, Mettawee class, ) a T-1 tanker for the United States Navy. T-1 tankers were small product carriers, designed to carry gasoline. Almost all of them went to either the US Navy, as AOGs , or to Britain, for service in a similar role. Many were under construction at the end of the war, and were sold immediately. This unit entered service on the May 19th, 1944, and was designated as AOG-23.

Mary C reef

In 1948, she was sold and renamed Providence. In 1962, the unit was acquired by Texaco Marine Company Incorporated of Beaumont, Texas, where she was lengthened, and renamed Texaco Providence. In 1968, she was acquired by the Reinauer Transportation Companies of Staten Island, New York and renamed Dean Reinauer.

In 1969, she was burned up and declared a constructive total loss. In 1970, she was converted to a tank barge at the Caddell's Dry Dock Company in Staten Island, New York, and renamed BFT No. 1. Assigned to the Reinauer Transportation Company subsidiary Boston Fuel Transportation Company of Boston, Massachusetts.

The barge was then acquired by a Norfolk, Virginia based owner, renamed Mary C, and converted to carry sludge. Then acquired by Eklof Marine Corporation of Staten Island, New York, and stripped for spare parts.

Ammonusuc was sister to AOG-33 Ochlockonee


Molasses Barge

Garden State North Reef

Molasses Barge reef

Type:
shipwreck, barge, tank
Specs:
( 250 x 42 ft )
Sponsor:
Charlie Bobowicz
Sunk:
Monday August 17, 1987
GPS:
39°37.498' -74°01.412'
Depth:
80 ft

Molasses Barge reef side-scan
Side-scan sonar image

This barge was actually used to transport molasses from the Caribbean to a New York distillery to make rum. Molasses is a thick syrup by-product from the processing of the sugarcane or sugar beet into sugar.

One of the oldest sites in the reef, the Molasses barge is falling apart and opening up, and the fish love it.

Molasses Barge reef
Molasses Barge reef
Molasses Barge reef
Molasses Barge reef
Plumbing and junk

Molasses Barge reef
The big notch at the stern, where the nose of a tugboat would fit


Queen Mary

Garden State North Reef

Queen Mary reef

Type:
shipwreck, cabin cruiser
Specs:
( 31 x 12 ft )
Sunk:
Saturday April 12, 1986
GPS:
unknown
Depth:
80 ft

steel hull, engine removed & hull filled with concrete


Shirley Ann

Garden State North Reef

Shirley Ann reef

Type:
shipwreck, barge
Specs:
( 80 x 28 ft )
Sunk:
Thursday May 9, 1985
GPS:
unknown
GPS:
39°37.399' -74°01.668'
Depth:
80 ft

loaded with tire units prior to sinking


Wagners Point

Garden State North Reef

Wagner's Point reef

Type:
shipwreck, tugboat
Built:
1941, Newburgh NY as Carrie T. Meseck
Specs:
( 97 x 27 ft )
Sponsor:
Carbon Service Corp, GDF, Pessolano family
Dedication:
Vincent Pessolano
Sunk:
Thursday September 29, 1994
GPS:
39°37.697' -74°01.113'
Depth:
80 ft

Wagner's Point reef

Built in 1941, by Harry A. Marvel and Company of Newburgh, New York (hull #226) as the Carrie T. Meseck for Meseck Towing and Transportation of New York, New York. On May 29th, 1941 the tug was acquired by the United States Navy, and designated YT-173 Manistee. The tug was converted for Naval service at Brooklyn Navy Yard in Brooklyn, New York and placed in service on August 8th, 1941, allocated to the 3rd Naval District at New York City.

Wagner's Point reef

On May 15th, 1944 she was redesigned YTB-173 Manistee. The tug was placed out of service on August 30th 1946, and struck from the Naval Register on the December 13th, 1946. On February 26th, 1947 she was transferred to the Maritime Commission for disposal. In 1947, the tug was acquired by Meseck Towing and Transportation of New York, New York, and renamed back to Carrie T. Meseck.

Wagner's Point reef

In 1954, Meseck Towing and Transportation was acquired by the Moran Towing Company of New York, New York. In 1955, the Moran Towing Company renamed the tug Susan A. Moran. In 1958, she was transferred to the Moran Towing affiliate, the Curtis Bay Towing Company of Baltimore, Maryland, and renamed Wagners Point. In 1988, the Curtis Bay Towing Company was absorbed into the Moran Towing Corporation of New York, New York. In 1990, the tug was acquired by the John E. Moore Company of Baltimore, Maryland. She was a single screw tug, rated at 1,400 horsepower.

Wagner's Point reef

Wagner's Point reef
Side-scan sonar image of the Wagner's Point, showing a very nice
sonar shadow of the deckhouse profile.


Weeks 218

Garden State North Reef

Penn Reels Reef reef

Type:
shipwreck, barge
Specs:
( 106 x 36 ft )
Sponsor:
Penn Reels
Sunk:
Wednesday June 21, 1995
GPS:
39°37.628' -74°01.643'
Depth:
80 ft

This barge was sunk by Navy Seals in a demolitions exercise, and shows large blast holes. The reef also includes 5 tanks.


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I make no claim as to the accuracy, validity, or appropriateness of any information found in this website. I will not be responsible for the consequences of any action that is based upon information found here. Scuba diving is an adventure sport, and as always, you alone are responsible for your own safety and well being.

Copyright © 1996-2016 Rich Galiano
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