wooden paddlewheels & engine
The wreckage at the site plotted is a likely match for the iron-hulled side wheel steamship Admiral Dupont.
The Almirante was a United Fruit Company steamship bound from New York City to Colon, Panama with a full cargo hold. On Friday September 6, 1918 at 2:00 a.m. The 15,000-ton Navy tanker USS Hisko rammed the Almirante in heavy seas and fog. The ship sank within 4 minutes, with an amazingly small loss of 5 lives out of 105 crew and passengers due to the prompt rescue by the Hisko crew and the Lifesaving Corps ( the precursor to the Coast Guard ) from Atlantic City. The entire cargo was lost, including 26 sacks of mail. The Hisko suffered some bow damage, but was able to safely continue on to New York.
The wreck site is more commonly called the "Flour Wreck," due to the white foam that washed onto the shore after the Almirante sank. For days after the wreck the local beaches were covered with a doughy, frothy mess. Because of this it was thought that large part of her cargo was flour, so the Almirante is known as the Flour Wreck, however the ship's manifest indicates that it was carrying a cargo of fruit, not flour. Flour from the galley may have been responsible for the mess but the quantity carried for consumption is not known, making any explanation pure conjecture.
The wreck lies scattered on the ocean floor in 70 feet of water. The wreck was twice blown up, wire dragged in 1938, and again in 1950. In addition, on a submarine patrol during July 1942, the blimp K-7 spotted the shape of the wreck from the air, and reported it as a possible U-boat. Coast Guard Cutter #464 dropped 5 depth charges on the wreck, further destroying it. Because of this, the wreck is mostly rubble with few identifiable parts. The Almirante is a great site for student divers because it is shallow, offers artifacts, is very scenic and its overlapping hull plates are an ideal habitat for lobsters and fish. Divers frequently spot sea bass, blackfish, eelpouts, harbor fluke and ling. The Almirante is a commonly visited site since it offers good visibility even when nearby wrecks have poor vis.
partially intact steel hull
Today the Astra sits in 85 ft of water on a sandy bottom. Her stern is intact and lists to port. The rest of the ship sits upright, her midsection collapsed. She can be easily penetrated, and is a great photography wreck. The stern has the greatest relief, coming 25 ft or so off the sand. Parts of automobiles are spread around the wreckage.
partially intact, railroad car debris nearby
wood-hulled, location unconfirmed
The wreckage at the site plotted is a likely match for the iron-hulled side wheel steamship Champion.
The "Inshore Paddlewheeler" - the same ?
The "China Wreck" is the partial remains of an unidentified late 19th century wooden sailing ship, with a cargo of china plates and cups, and miscellaneous articles. The wreck must be dived at slack tide, and even then conditions at the mouth of Delaware Bay tend to be muddy. The plates themselves date from about 1875, and are fairly ordinary and of little value except to divers who prize such artifacts; and despite years of plunder, there are still more to be found.
The "China Junk Wreck" by Townsend inlet rises up to 15 ft. What you can see is a couple of boilers and a debris field. To dive it you must hit the tide just right. On a good day you can see 15-20 ft. A good tog spearfishing site.
Description courtesy of diver Brian Larsen.
low debris field mostly buried in the sand
Today the wreckage lies in 110 ft of water. She has little relief, maybe 5 ft. Her wooden hull is pretty much sanded in and appears to be split into three sections. She is mostly frequented by fishing boats, so watch out for hooks and monofilament.
Photo courtesy of McAllister Towing.
unknown, probably buried
Today the Gypsum Prince sits in 80 ft of water on a sandy bottom. She was blown up in August of 1942 because she was a hazard to navigation, and today she is almost completely torn apart - a mass of twisted metal and hull plates. All this gives good cover for lobster and fish. She is a hard wreck to dive because of her location at the end of the Cape Henlopen Breakwater. Current can be very fast and visibility is usually poor, diving at slack tide is strongly suggested.
The Voco was also involved in the collision that sank the Choapa.
The King Cobra lies on upright on a sandy bottom, intact, and rising 15-20 ft off the bottom. Her steel deck plating has eroded and she can be easily penetrated. There is usually a steady current so caution is advised. Some lower sections are sanded in.
The Lemuel Burrows was torn apart by three torpedoes*, and subsequently wire dragged twice. Today she sits in 80 ft of water on a sandy bottom. She is quite broken up, and a pretty good lobster wreck, still occasionally giving up some nice brass artifacts as well. Sometimes called "the Collier", she is dived often. Visibility is typical for the area, averaging 10-20 ft. Newer divers should heed the many overhangs, which could bring about an inadvertent penetration.
The U-404 sank the Tolten the day before.
* Waste three torpedoes on an old collier ? The U-boat skipper was probably just trying to get rid of his "fish" so he could go home.
The packet ship Manhattan sank with eight of her nine crew. In the same storm, the 200 ft schooner Powhattan was also lost nearby, with over 350 immigrants on board and no survivors. Neither wreck has been positively identified, although there are several candidates, including one old wooden hull buried up to the gunwales in the sand.
Today the Misty Blue lies in 120 ft of water on her starboard side, intact Clam cages and other debris surround the wreck site. She is not dived often.
The masthead light
The wreckage at the site plotted is a likely match for the wooden-hulled screw steamship Montgomery.
low lying wood & metal debris field
Coast Guard records denote this wreck as "disproved" - no longer there.
Small tugboats are not always the most seaworthy vessels, and this one proves the point. She lies upright and intact, 55 ft down.
wooden, partially intact
on port side, pointing south
generally poor visibility, mud bottom
intact, upright, steel hull
field of huge granite slabs
The Diggs was engaged in a salvage operation at the time of her loss, and actually settled on top of another shipwreck, of unknown origin. The green blinker buoy for which it is known was removed after the wooden wreck was demolished in the 1970s.
These modern Navy "Yippie" (YP) boats are a common summer sight.
They are used to train cadets in boat handling and seamanship, and are
usually found in groups of four or more, executing synchronized maneuvers.
On 10 September 1947, Windlass, in company with Salvager, began searching for the sunken YP-387. She located the wreck and began salvage operations while Salvager returned to Bayonne, apparently to get necessary equipment. Windlass apparently shifted briefly to Norfolk, Va., for the same reason before both heavy lifting salvage vessels returned to the site of the sunken YP off Hereford, N.J., on 1 October 1947. Two days later, they placed demolition charges in the sunken "Yippie boat" and blew her up to prevent her from being a hazard to navigation.
-- exact location unknown
From: the Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships