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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.

Macedonia

Sandy Hook Chart

Shipwreck Macedonia side-scan
There do not seem to be any images of this ship prior to sinking. However, Macedonia had an identical twin sister Ithaka, picured above.

Type:
shipwreck, freighter, Germany
( at time of loss chartered to Ward Lines, see Mohawk )
Name:
Macedonia is a region in the southern Balkans, adjoining Greece, and formerly part of Yugoslavia.
Built:
1894, England
Specs:
( 280 x 41 ft ) 2268 gross tons, 19 passengers & crew
Sunk:
Tuesday June 13, 1899
collision with liner Hamilton ( 3127 tons) - 1 casualty
GPS:
40°21.418' -73°56.153' (AWOIS 1991)
Depth:
60 ft

Shipwreck Macedonia side-scan
Composite side-scan sonar image, courtesy of the Artificial Reef Program. The bow is at upper-right, and the stern at lower-left.

The Macedonia is a big wreck that lies more or less north-south, and is completely contiguous. Most of the iron wreckage is low - 4-6 ft off the bottom, and jagged in spots. The debris field spreads out laterally quite a ways. Some of the hull plates have fallen inward, and present a smooth upper surface, while the entire west side of the wreck forms a large overhang.

I strongly recommend diving the aft or southern portion of this wreck, where the boilers, engine, drive shaft, and propeller make a line of interesting and easily navigated landmarks. The bow section of the wreck is low and disorganized, with no clear axis or terminus, and is much easier to get lost on. And you don't want to get lost on this wreck, because with the surface currents typically found in this area, a free ascent would not be advisable.

from AWOIS: 1562

FE330SS/89 -- OPR-C147-HE-89; CONTACT #16 ON SURVEY H-10284/88; SIDE SCAN SONAR AND DIVER INVESTIGATION FOUND A WRECK LYING ON A FLAT BOTTOM; WRECK IS AN OLD WOODEN STEAMSHIP ABOUT 75M IN LENGTH; WRECKAGE IS BADLY DETERIORATED AND STREWN ABOUT HE BOTTOM; SEVERAL PROTRUSIONS RISE ABOVE THE TREND OF THE WRECK; PNEUMATIC DEPTH GAUGE DIVER LEAST DEPTH OF 38 FT TAKEN ON THE STACK FROM THE STEAM PLANT WHICH IS LOCATED NEAR THE MIDDLE OF THE WRECK; STEAM ENGINE FOUND ABOUT 30M FROM THE STERN; NEAR MIDSHIPS THE ENGINE AND STACK RISE ABOUT 20 FT OFF THE BOTTOM AND TWO LARGE BOILERS ARE INTACT JUST FORWARD OF THE STACK. (UPDATED MSD 6/91)

From the Concord Enterprise, 15 June 1899:

STEAMSHIP SUNK

New York, June 14. -- the old Dominion steamship Hamilton, which sailed from New York yesterday bound to Norfolk and Newport News, ran into the German steamship Macedonia off Long Branch, and the Macedonia subsequently sunk. The Hamilton was proceeding south with a large number of passengers. While proceeding at reduced speed and sounding her whistle, the Hamilton suddenly ran into a steamer, which proved to be the German steamer Macedonia, striking her on the starboard side abaft the engine and cutting into her hull about 12 feet. There was no loss of life.

Hamilton
Hamilton's twin sister Jefferson, both built 1899, of the Old Dominion Line. Both vessels were involved in incidents and mishaps throughout their careers.

Shipwreck Macedonia side-scan
Closer view of the stern, with some pieces ( perhaps fancifully ) drawn-in.

The Shipwreck of the Macedonia - Dive Sites & Shipwrecks - New Jersey Scuba Diving This video covers the aft end of the wreck, from the propeller up to the boilers. The Macedonia is a large, fascinating, and little-visited wreck off Sandy Hook, sunk in a collision in 1899. Fairly easy depth, but often strong currents, and always dark.

This video covers the aft end of the wreck, from the propeller up to the boilers. I was going to go up to the bow as well, but the current was tough, and then I got a blackfish with my knife, and ended up hand-carrying it back to the boat. I'd always heard stories like that, but I never believed them, until now.

Shipwreck Macedonia propeller
The propeller. Water conditions are typical.

Diving here can be a different kind of experience. Current and visibility depend greatly on the tide, and are probably best around dead high. You may descend through pea-green water into almost complete blackness, so any dive in this area should be planned as a night dive, regardless of the time of day. Visibility is often poor. On the other hand, on a clear bright day this must be one of the prettiest wrecks in the area.

Hydroids and patches of white encrusting coral cover the huge rust-orange boilers and engine, where schools of big Blackfish can be found, as well as hordes of Cunners. I am told that years ago this was good lobster wreck, but I have never seen a large lobster anywhere in this vicinity. The bottom is clean pebbly sand, scoured by the currents. The cargo of sugar dissolved away long ago, leaving little for artifact hunters, although occasionally a piece of brass still comes up.

The wreck of the Macedonia lies within the boundaries of the Sandy Hook reef.

Underwater photos courtesy of diver Perry Arts.

Shipwreck Macedonia

Shipwreck Macedonia

Side-scan Sonar image courtesy of the Artificial Reef Program.

There do not seem to be any images of this ship prior to sinking. If anyone knows of one, please share it.


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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.

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