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New Jersey Scuba Diving


New Jersey Scuba Diving


There is actually a wealth of books on the subject of diving the New Jersey / New York area. A great deal more information, including loran numbers and/or directions, much more detailed histories and descriptions, and historical photos, can be found in these references, and I highly recommend all of them. You can find these at your local dive shop, or order all of them directly from the links on this page.

Many out-of-print titles are still available from used book dealers and can be found by searching online.


Where Divers DareWhere Divers Dare
The Hunt for the Last U-boat

by Randall Peffer

[ excerpt ]

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Hidden History of Maritime New JerseyHidden History of Maritime New Jersey
by Steve Nagiewicz

[ excerpt ]

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Dan Berg's Dive Guides

Wreck ValleyNew Jersey Beach Diver

AquaExplorersTo order these books and others, visit Aqua Explorers website at http://www.aquaexplorers.com

Gary Gentile's "Popular Dive Guide" Series

Shipwrecks of New Jersey - NorthShipwrecks of New Jersey - CentralShipwrecks of New Jersey - South
Shipwrecks of New YorkShipwrecks of Delaware & MarylandShipwrecks of Connecticut & Rhode Island

Gary Gentile Productions

All include exhaustive lists of Loran and GPS numbers

To order these books and others, visit Gary Gentile's website at http://www.ggentile.com/popular_dive_guide_series.html


Scuba Diving the Wrecks and Shores of Long Island, NYScuba Diving the Wrecks and Shores of Long Island, NY
by David Rosenthal

To order this book, visit The Wharves Project website at http://www.thewharvesproject.org

New Jersey Shipwrecks:350 years in the Graveyard of the AtlanticNew Jersey Shipwrecks:
350 years in the Graveyard of the Atlantic

Margaret Thomas Buchholz
Down the Shore Publishing, 2004
200 pages, illustrated, b&w

Shore Diving in New JerseyShore Diving in New Jersey
Tom Gormley & Ben Gualano, 2003
200 pages, illustrated, b&w

Lost VoyagesLost Voyages
Bradley Sheard
Aqua Quest Publications, 1998
216 pages, illustrated, color

The Sea's Bitter HarvestThe Sea's Bitter Harvest
Douglas A. Campbell, 2001

About the four clam boats that sank in two weeks in 1999.

Shadow DiversShadow Divers
Robert Kurson, 2003

What ! You haven't heard of this one ?
Have you been living under a rock ?

The Last DiveThe Last Dive
Bernie Chowdhury, 2000

To me, this is a manual of how NOT to dive. Especially regarding the author's (Chowdhury's) own experiences, if I did that many dumb things in a row, I wouldn't put them all down in a book. He is lucky to be alive. Contains a lot of cave-diving propaganda also.

Deep DescentDeep Descent
Kevin F. McMurray, 2001

All about the Andrea Doria, from the collision to the latest diving.

[ excerpt ]

Out of Print

Perils of the Port of New YorkPerils of the Port of New York
Jeannette Edwards Rattray
Dodd Mead & Co., 1973

My copy still has a card in it from the Manhattan Public Library !

Broken SparsBroken Spars - New Jersey Coast Shipwrecks 1640-1935
Leland Wooley Downey
Brick Twsp. Historical Society, 1960

Shipwrecks of the AtlanticShipwrecks of the Atlantic
Bill Davis
The Fisherman Library, 1991
248 pages, illustrated, b&w

Shipwrecks of New JerseyShipwrecks of New Jersey - excerpt
Gary Gentile
Gary Gentile Productions, 1988

This book is replaced by three new ones.

Guide to Shipwreck Diving - New York & New JerseyGuide to Shipwreck Diving - New York & New Jersey
Henry C. Keatts
Pisces Books, 1992
186 pages, illustrated, color

Shipwrecks Near Barnegat InletShipwrecks Near Barnegat Inlet
David J Siebold & Charles J Adams III
Exeter House Books, 1995

Scuba Northeast vol IIScuba Northeast vol II
Robert G. Bachand
Sea Sports Publications, 1986

Shipwrecks in New York WatersShipwrecks in New York Waters
Paul Morris & William Quinn
Parnassus Imprints, 1989

Beyond SportdivingBeyond Sportdiving
Bradley Sheard
Menasha Ridge Press, 1991

WreckMaster Northeast CD-ROMWreckMaster Northeast CD-ROM
Scubamation 1993

hopelessly outdated

Shipwrecks Off the New Jersey CoastShipwrecks Off the New Jersey Coast
Walter & Richard Krotee

This book is one of the earliest and most detailed references on New Jersey shipwrecks. As such, unfortunately, it is also the source of most of the rumors and errors in New Jersey shipwreck histories.

Shipwrecks Unforgotten: From New Jersey to the Gulf of FloridaShipwrecks Unforgotten:
From New Jersey to the Gulf of Florida

Norbert Freitag 1997

Mainly just loran lists.

References - Wreck Charts & Numbers

Capt. Vic Enterprises

The chart that I actually used in researching this website is:

New York / New Jersey Bight

Capt. Vic Enterprises Inc.
8 Iris Court
Milltown NJ 08850
Phone: 732-821-8810
Fax: 732-821-8192

The back of this chart has the biggest list of Loran/LatLon coordinates you are going to find anywhere. How accurate these numbers are is a good question. The Loran numbers are useless nowadays, and the LatLons are highly suspect. This is an old chart now, but still useful to me.

bookOn the web, a good source for charts is www.gpscharts.com. You can also find charts at www.waterproofcharts.com. Official government navigation charts are available from the Coast Survey division of the NOAA. The AWOIS wreck database is also now online and searchable. Another good source for detailed charts of the artificial reefs is the New Jersey Artificial Reef Program. Their new book contains exhaustive lists of both Loran and DGPS coordinates. More cartographic information on the New York bight area is available from the U.S. Geological Survey.

About the Charts on this Website

The charts in this website are as accurate as I could make them, but they are in no way navigation quality. They began as USGS survey index charts, scanned into digital form and cleaned up considerably to keep the file size down. The positions are determined from loran and/or DGPS numbers. Lorans were converted to latitude/longitude with a computer program, then converted to pixel coordinates in a spreadsheet. Finally, the points were plotted exactly in a graphics editor. If you look closely, you can find [74-00-00 W, 41-00-00 N] and other reference points.

The large-scale wreck charts in this website are based primarily on converted loran numbers, with some GPS and other references. At this scale, the discrepancies between different systems are too small to matter. The individual NJ reef charts are based on GPS numbers provided by the Reef Program. The discrepancy between converted loran numbers and GPS is large enough to be noticeable at the scale of the reef charts.

You can download the shareware loran conversion program "Marnav" that I used in making the charts in the website. Also, here is a newer Loran conversion program, issued by the USCG. It may be more accurate than Marnav. These two programs seem to agree pretty well with each other, but neither agrees well with the new GPS numbers that are becoming available. Thanks to diver John Whitehurst for supplying me with both Loran conversion programs, without which this website would not have gotten started.

NOAA Chart 12300

Here are some NOAA charts, as very large pdfs:

Many of these have wreck symbols on them for better-known sites.

GPS Numbers

Many people ask for loran GPS numbers for the sites described in these pages. My policy is to not list numbers, as many of them were given to me in confidence, and I will not accidentally release someone's secret. However, after I added all the highly accurate and public-domain GPS numbers in the Artificial Reefs section of the website, I have reconsidered that position, somewhat.

What I have done is collect "GPS numbers" from four public lists, and compile them into a single spreadsheet. I culled the obvious errors, cleaned up the names, and sorted all the data. The numbers are in both common formats: degrees-minutes and degrees-decimal. You can download it here.

You'll notice that there are multiple entries for many wrecks, each listing the source. Often, these numbers turn out to be a quarter-mile apart or more. If two numbers agree, that is more likely an indication that one was copied from the other than that they are right. Some of these numbers might be accurate, but I couldn't tell you which, or which source is the best.

The GPS in my phone helps me find my way out of the woods when I get lost with the dog. The GPS in your car will show you which lane of the highway you are in. These 'GPS Numbers' often can't agree within a quarter of a mile of each other. What this shows is just how awful these public GPS lists really are - they are little more than bad Loran conversions from twenty years ago. If you don't believe me, plug a few of the numbers into this calculator and see for yourself.

Here is one incredible example: two sets of numbers given for the Delaware are over 2 miles apart !!! The Delaware is only 3 miles off the beach, and you can find it by land ranges with no instruments at all:

Shipwreck SS Delaware land ranges
Note the locations of the two sets of water and bridge towers.

This is indicative of the quality of the entire list - it is garbage. This particular error must a typo, but that's what happens when the same junk gets handed down for 20 years.

On the scale of my graphical charts, most of the errors might move a marker one pixel - so for my purposes it doesn't matter. But if you want to actually go out and find a wreck with these numbers, pack a lunch - you're going to be 'mowing the lawn' for a while! That is not to say there are not accurate sources for GPS numbers, but you will have to pay for them. See References.

I have added a few GPS numbers from government sources where the accuracy is high. I'm going to all the trouble and public disservice of posting all the trash numbers.



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
unless otherwise noted



since 2016-09-11