A very broken-up steel fishing vessel; another victim of bottom draggers and sea conditions. If you can find all of her small pieces while diving her, one or two divers might do very well catching lobsters.
Thursday June 29, 2006 collision in fog - 2 casualties
Looking aft at the port-side name board
The wooden hull has completely disintegrated.
A bobbing cooler, a hint of disaster at sea
Bodies of teen and his uncle are found after boat is destroyed in accident with barge
Saturday, July 01, 2006
BY BRIAN DONOHUE AND MARK MUELLER
In the waning daylight Thursday, the glint of metal in the darkening Atlantic captured Kevin Pavone's attention. Pavone and his colleagues aboard the Gambler, a charter fishing boat, identified the bobbing box as a cooler, an expensive one meant to hold fish, and it didn't belong in the water 6 miles off the coast of Manasquan. The mates scanned the horizon. A white strobe light winked back, a sign the Gambler had stumbled across someone in distress. Then they spotted the survivors, two men clinging to what was left of the Alex Mac, a 64-foot scallop boat.
Most of the boat was gone, 70 to 80 feet down on the ocean floor, along with two of its crew members, a 16-year-old boy and his uncle. The pair died in the cabin where they were sleeping when the vessel struck a barge and sank. Yesterday, State Police divers retrieved the bodies of the teen, Michael Lantman, and his uncle, Thomas Lantman, 39. *** A Coast Guard spokeswoman, Kim Smith, said she did not know where the Lantmans lived. Michael Lantman's father, she said, was from Philadelphia.
The Alex Mac's survivors, pulled to safety by Pavone and his crewmates, were identified as captain Michael Vanderpol and first mate Merle Robert. The two men, whose hometowns also were unavailable, were treated at Ocean Medical Center in Brick. "You hope this never happens, " said Pavone, 17, of Toms River. "It's good that we got two guys, but we're still missing two."
The Coast Guard continues to investigate what caused the 8 p.m. collision between the wooden scallop boat and the much larger steel barge, which was being towed by a 91-foot tugboat, the Jo Anne Reinauer III. Both vessels were moving in thick fog at the time, the Alex Mac toward scallop grounds farther east and the tug toward its home dock in Staten Island, Coast Guard Duty Officer Tom Peck said.
Peck declined to say whether both vessels had operable radar and running lights, citing the ongoing probe. Vanderpol and Robert, in the pilot house when the collision took place, both were questioned, Peck said, as was the operator of the tug. No charges were immediately filed. It remained uncertain yesterday whether efforts would be made to refloat the sunken vessel, which was based out of Atlantic City and owned by a Manahawkin couple, David and Kyle Michel. David Michel is a local race car driver. Kyle Michel is the sister of a retired NASCAR mainstay, Martin Truex Sr. The Michels could not be reached for comment.
Leading up to Thursday's collision, the Alex Mac had been berthed for two days at a Point Pleasant dock owned by Tom Gallagher, who runs a busy welding business that caters to fishermen seeking repairs on their boats. Gallagher said he sometimes lets Vanderpol take a berth for free before a fishing outing. On Thursday evening, Vanderpol and the Alex Mac headed out to sea for a day, hoping to collect their 400-pound limit of scallops.
The first hint of trouble at the Coast Guard's Atlantic City station came at about 8 p.m., when someone aboard the tug radioed in. "The tug called us and said his tow (line) jerked, " said Peck, the Coast Guard spokesman. "He thought he might have hit something, and he wasn't sure." On the Alex Mac, Vanderpol believed something had struck his outrigger, a gear-carrying arm that extends along the side of the boat, Peck said the captain later told them.
The damage was far more catastrophic than Vanderpol initially believed. Peck said the bow, or front of the boat, suffered enough damage that the sea gushed in, flooding the cabin where the Lantmans had been sleeping. They never made it out of the cabin. Vanderpol and Robert escaped the pilot house and inflated a life raft, Peck said. They remained on the foundering vessel only a short time.
By 8:15, the Coast Guard received a signal from the Alex Mac's emergency beacon, showing that it had begun to sink. By then, Coast Guard boats were on the way. But it was the Gambler, out on an evening bluefish run with 19 fishermen aboard, that stumbled on the scene first at about 8:30. Pavone, working his second summer on the charter boat, said it appeared the two survivors were holding on to a small piece of wreckage.
The Gambler pulled alongside the men and, after tossing them a life preserver, helped them aboard. "They just wanted out of the water, " he said, saying they appeared to be very cold after their time in the 62-degree Atlantic. Vanderpol and Robert were treated on the boat by two customers who worked as EMTs, he said. The Gambler cut short its fishing to rush the men to land. Pavone downplayed his own role in the event. "This is something I didn't look forward to doing, " Pavone said, "but it had to be done."
Staff writer Tom Feeney contributed to this report.
*** This is incorrect. The bodies were recovered by members of the Point Pleasant First Aid Dive Team:
Alex Mac - Dive Sites & Shipwrecks - New Jersey Scuba DivingAnother video from NJScuba.net -- Alex Mac - Dive Sites & Shipwrecks - New Jersey Scuba Diving
80 FEET DOWN - Divers survey sunken boat for pollutants
Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 07/2/06
BY MARGARET F. BONAFIDETOMS RIVER BUREAU
Members of the Point Pleasant Beach Dive Team, under the direction of chief diver Chet Nesley, 53, of Dover Township, on Saturday visited the wreckage, which was 80-feet down. Nesley and Brandon Cadalzo, 26, of Point Pleasant, dove to the wreckage of the Alex Mac at the request from the Coast Guard and the insurance company that was insuring the boat and "to do a hull survey and plug the vents on the fuel tanks so there would be no pollution, " Nesley said. "There was quite a bit of damage below the water line of the boat."
A tugboat called authorities to report a problem at sea Thursday and Tom Hurst, owner of Tow Boat US, which regularly donates its services in rescue operations, called Nesley and his crew at first word of the incident, Nesley said.
The party boat, the Gambler, rescued two crew members who were on a piece of wreckage from the boat. Nesley said they had hoped Thursday night when they first got to the wreckage that the two fishermen inside could be alive in an air pocket. Once he saw the severe damage to the hull, he knew there was no chance, he said.
Nesley located Mike Lantman, 16, in the engine room near the door Thursday night, he said. The team returned Friday morning to take him off the boat. The State Police deep-water dive team went down Friday morning but could not locate the uncle. But when Nesley's team returned with Sue Lewicki, a dive team member from Old Bridge, she was able to find Tommy Lantman, 39, because she is small-framed and able to fit through a small hole in the boat.
"Sue is a good diver, " Nesley said. "She thinks smart, is strong, and has tremendous courage." "Everybody said a prayer over the bodies when we brought them on board, " he said. "We feel the family can have some closure." "This is a pretty tight community, the fishing community. We went out and wanted to recover these bodies for these people, " Nesley said.
NM14/65 -- WK BUOY ESTABLISHED 50 YDS 060 DEGREES FROM SUNKEN BARGE WHICH LIES IN SOUTH SOUTHWESTERLY POSITION WITH A LEAST DEPTH OF 15 FT.
FE221/78-79 -- OPR-C622, ITEM 9; LOCATED W/0 WD THRU LORAN-C POS. PROVIDED BY GENE GEER, AMER. LITTORAL SOCIETY; DIVER VERIFIED AS BARGE W/DERRICK, 65 FT. L, 30 FT. W, RESTING IN INVERTED POS.; POSITION AND LEADLINE LEAST DEPTH OF 46 FT. DETERMINED; MRS. SCHWARTZ, SEC. FOR ATLANTIC, GULF AND PACIFIC CO. WV, IDENTIFIED VESSEL AS BARGE NO. 10.
FE334SS/89 -- OPR-C147-HE-89; DIVER INVESTIGATION OF SIDE SCAN SONAR CONTACT FOUND ON SURVEY H10291/88; A LARGE METAL BARGE LYING INVERTED ON A SANDY BOTTOM RISING 6-8 FT. OFF THE BOTTOM ON ONE SIDE AND 3 FT. ON THE OTHER; VERY GOOD VISIBILITY; NO SIGN OF DERRICK, BUT DIVERS SPECULATED THAT SINCE THE WRECK IS HIGHER ON ONE SIDE THAN THE OTHER, THE DERRICK IS LIKELY UNDER THE WRECK AND WORKING INTO THE SAND; LEAST DEPTH OF 47 FT. TAKE ON HIGHER SIDE
I don't know the reason for this offshore barge's name, other than it might well be the real one. Nevertheless, this wood barge, sometimes called a dry dock lies in 120+ of water and is usually a very good lobster dive, albeit a deeper one. Bottom visibility if often cloudy to poor. It's not the best bottom conditions here, but a careful and advanced certified diver can bring home a lot of lobsters for dinner with a dive here. This spot isn't frequently dived.
This wreck got it's name from the first few divers to get there, who struck it rich in lobsters in it's wooden ribs and decking. The wreckage is very well spread out in several lines or walls, with decking off to one side. Near the bow an overturned piece of decking is home to ling and blackfish. Off to the side lie the winch and small bits of machinery.
A very small wreck, consisting of a primitive single-cylinder steam engine and a large, completely broken-down boiler. Odd pieces of pipe and machinery lie around, but no remains of a hull, although there appears to be some iron plating under the engine. Guessing from the technology, the construction would date to around 1860 +/- 10 years, and the sinking would have been sometime after that.
Monday January 24, 1887
ran aground - 2 casualties
This tiny wreck produced a number of fine artifacts when first discovered. I am doubtful of the plotted location, since it does not match up with the reported depth. In any case, the vessel must have drifted considerably from where it grounded before finally settling in deep water.
A typical smallish schooner barge wreck of unknown origin. Some anchor chain and decking spread out over a small area, with a few smaller pieces way off the main piece. Named after the fishing boat that found the spot.
MANASQUAN, N.J. -- A 45-foot chartered fishing boat with 22 people aboard capsized in 6-foot waves and sank Sunday in choppy waters off New Jersey, officials said.Five men drowned and three others were missing and presumed dead.
Fourteen people were rescued after the fishing boat Joan La Rie sank Sunday morning about 8 miles off the coast of Pt. Pleasant, said Coast Guard rescue crews. The Coast Guard suspended their search at about 7:30 p.m. 'It's just too cold to continue the search,' Coast Guard Petty Officer Jerry Snyder said Sunday. 'It's unlikely that there are any survivors.'
'We're looking for three people that may still be in the water,' Coast Guard Petty Officer Gregory Creedon said. 'We have the names of those we think are missing, but are not releasing them at this time.
'The boat was slammed by a wave which tilted it over and it sank very quickly,' said Creedon. 'Rescue crews reached the scene about 15 minutes after we got the call at 11:30 a.m.' Creedon said a small craft advisory was in effect when the boat capsized in water 'a couple of hundred feet deep.' The water temperature was in the mid-50s, waves up to 6-feet and winds between 15 and 25 knots.
A distress call was sent to the Coast Guard by a passing Brazilian cargo vessel, the Itape. Four patrol boats and three helicopters were immediately dispatched, Creedon said. Two of the survivors, James Mizzetti, of Middletown, N.Y., and his 15-year-old son, James Jr., were treated for exposure at Point Pleasant Hospital. Both clung to the side of the boat for about two hours before being lifted from the chilly waters by a lifeboat from the Itape, the elder Mizzetti told reporters at the hospital.
'It was pandemonium. Nobody really knew what to do,' Mizzetti said. 'The thing that was foremost in my mind was to get him ( my son ) out ( of the boat ).' Mizzetti said passengers on the boat, which left Point Pleasant at 6 a.m., were just finishing up a full day of fishing when the boat capsized. 'The swells were exceptionally high,' said Mizzetti, who added that the victims were unable to unfasten two life rafts aboard the Joan La-Rie. Mizzetti said the victims tried to stay together before they were separated 'quite a distance' by the waves.
Bobbe Nicholetti, a spokeswoman for the Jersey Shore Hospital in Neptune, said five people were pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital, including the ship's captain. Coast Guard officials said the captain also was the boat's owner. They have been unable to determine so far how many of those on board may have been crew members. 'Apparently all of the people knew each other,' Creedon said of the passengers.
The five dead were identified as Charles Housley, 55, of Ridgewood, the ship's captain, Walter Meisenbacher, 55, of Bricktown, Thomas Nolan, 55, of Southfield, N.Y., Nicholas Sanpopietro, 61, of Greenwood Lake, N.Y. and Frank Jackson, 38, of Middletown, N.Y. In critical condition at Jersey Shore was John Sullivan, of Hamburg, N.Y., said Ms. Nicholetti, who added the victims all died from 'submersion and salt water drowning-cardiac arrest.'
Of 13 taken to Point Pleasant Hospital, five were admitted and eight others treated for exposure and released, hospital spokeswoman Noel Bechtold said. Ms. Bechtold identified those admitted as John Gorman Sr., 39, guarded condition, John Gorman Jr., 7, critical but stable condition, James Graham, 53, Kevin Brady, 16, and Ronald Hoffman, 40, all in satisfactory condition and all from Greenwood Lake, N.Y.
The Leon Walter was sliced in half by the north-bound oil tanker Hess Bunker while returning to Point Pleasant with a load of clams. The collision occurred shortly after 5PM in good visibility; the stern section sank immediately. The bow, buoyed by empty fuel tanks, floated and was towed in. The three crew were all rescued unhurt by another fishing vessel. The Walter was 10 years old and valued at $50,000. The Hess Bunker was apparently unharmed, and was scrapped in 1972.
T2-SE-A1 tanker - 523 ft, 16,000 tons max
The Hess Bunker was an extended T2 - 605 ft, 23284 DWT tons
The "Logwood" is a typical New Jersey lobster "snag". It consists merely of a pile of rusted chain surrounded by low timbers running off in several directions in the sand. There is no evidence of a towing bit, steam winch, or any other of the hallmarks of a schooner barge. Together with the fact that the wreck is small and very low-lying, my guess is that the "Logwood" was a sailing ship of the early 1800s, rather than a schooner barge from a later date.
This wreck is in an area that scallop boats frequent, and shows the signs of being dragged apart. Each year pieces of wreckage are missing or dragged far off the main wreck site. It is a good place to find scallops and, depending on how frequently she's dived, not a bad place for lobster.
CL664/38 -- CGS; 10/29/38; BARGE, IN TOW OF A TUG, BOUND FROM PHILADELPHIA TO NEW YORK LOADED WITH 1200 TONS OF COAL, SANK IN 10 FMS OF WATER, 3 1/2 MILES, 104 DEGREES TRUE FROM SEA GIRT LIGHTHOUSE WITH THE MAST SHOWING 4 FT ABOVE THE WATER.
CL632/50--CGS; 9/1/50; WIRE DRAG FOR 1 MILE AT EFFECTIVE DEPTH OF
50.5 - 57.5 FT; WK NOT FOUND BUT WIRE PICKED UP A PIECE OF WOODEN DECKING
AND CORNER TIMBERS; AREA LATER CLEARED TO 57 FT; WK DELETED FROM CHART. (ENTERED MSM 11/85)
This site is actually the remains of three wooden schooner barges, sunk almost next to each other, as though they were lashed together. At one end of the site, an anchor chain runs off into the sand from a large winch, ending in nothing. At the other end, a huge towing bit is upended in the sand.
The "Northeast Sailor" is the remains of a large sailing ship. The absence of towing bits is an indicator that this was probably not a schooner barge, while the presence of a boiler and steam machinery place the vessel in the mid to late nineteenth century.
The lay of the wreck is typical. The Bow faces east, probably into the storm that sank her. Low wooden remains lie in lines emanating from a sizeable chain-pile and anchor. Some machinery can also be found, including the aforementioned boiler and steam winches. Although the wreckage is scattered, navigation is not difficult. The bottom is clean coarse sand, and there are lobster holes dug beneath the wooden ribs. Many of these are very deep, and even a long stick will not reach the bottom, so lobstering on this wreck is a challenge, but doable. Last time I was there, I grabbed half a dozen nice-sized lobsters, and not one keeper in the lot ! All females.
The "Rump" is a typical schooner barge wreck - 3 parallel wooden walls in the sand. At the east end is an assortment of machinery and chain where the three walls converge at what must have been the bow. Deep holes in the outer walls hide some very safe little lobsters.
Nearby are a pile of rocks known as the "Hemorrhoids".
The "Southwest Mohawk" or "Coffee Wreck" is nothing like its namesake. Artifacts found on the wreck indicated that is was a late eighteenth century sailing ship, and not a barge.
An assembly of fairly large timbers forms a low solid deck over most of the wreck, with bundles of iron pipes and stone ballast blocks scattered around. The bottom is clean, white, almost Caribbean sand. Visibility tends to be relatively good, and it is very easy to follow around the edges of the wreck or explore over the top without getting lost. Caverns and gaps around the edges of the wreckage provide homes for swarms of Sea Bass, some of them huge, and a few Tautogs.
Captain John Bogan recounts the naming of the wreck:
My dad ran the Shamrock out of Broadway, where the Dauntless is today. My brother. Bob, was first and sometimes second mate. He used to drive my father crazy when he'd ask, "What spot is this, what spot are we going to?" Dad had been fishing the Mohawk and was heading towards Hankins. A commercial fisherman/friend held up 2 giant blackfish when he was going by. Dad slowed and just off the buoys, drifted over and found the wreck. My brother, as usual, was giving him the third degree. So dad said, "This is the Coffee Ground spot."
A large sailing ship, just north of the Sea Girt Reef in 73 feet. Very low-lying. Wreckage consists of three sets of wood walls with some decking. Deep holes for lobsters. Very hard to find and hook. A nice spot for six lobster divers or a small cadre of artifact hunters. Probably over a 100 years old. Some brass odds and ends over the years have been found, with some bottles and china, but I suspect she was largely stripped and sank.
A very large intact steel deck barge, lying upright, north-south. The southern end is partially collapsed and opened up, allowing easy access to at least part of the inside. Rust holes in the deck let light in throughout the rest of interior, although they are too small to fit through. A great spearfishing site, and not bad for lobsters. The crane lies about 1/4 mile away.
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.