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The Abacos Shipwreck Directory  Bahamas Shipwrecks
Historical and current Abacos Islands, Bahamas Shipwreck Information and images for scuba divers, fisherman and marine historians.
             

 

 

 

   Capt. Dan Berg's Wreck Valley Collection   

 

ABACOS ISLANDS (Bahamas)

The Abacos islands are located in the northeast section of the Bahamas
approximately 170 miles from Miami, Florida. The two largest islands are
Great Abaco and Little Abaco.

The best diving off Abaco is between its eastern shores and cays that are
protected from the Atlantic Ocean by barrier reefs. Green Turtle Cay, Treasure
Cay and Man of War Cay all offer excellent diving. Diving Abaco centers
around a reef that is one of the longest in the world, measuring about 150
miles.

For more information about the Bahamas visit the Bahamas Board of Tourism’s official website –
www.bahamas.com


U.S.S Adirondack class warship with crew manning the yards. Courtesy U.S. Naval Historical Foundation


U.,S.,S. ADIRONDACK
The U.S. S. Adirondack was an Ossipee class wooden screw sloop built in
1861 at the New York Navy Yard. She was launched on February 22, 1862,
and commissioned in June of the same year. This union gun boat was 207
feet long, had a 38 foot beam, weighed 1,240 gross tons, and was powered
by both sail and steam. The Adironduck was part of the South Atlantic
Blockading Squadron. On August 23, 1862, while on a voyage from Port
Royal to Nassau, she ran aground on Little Bahama Bank. Her crew was
rescued by the vessel Canadaigua, but all salvage attempts of the ship
failed. The Adirondack broke up in the surf and sunk.

The scattered remains of this warship rest in l0 to 30 feet of water. Divers
can still see two of her I I inch bore cannons that are about twelve feet
long and weigh about 10,000 pounds each. Twelve smaller cannons can
also be sighted while exploring the wreckage.


BARGE
The Borge wreck is the remains of a World War II landing craft. She rests
in a small channel off Fiddle Key, in 40 feet of water and is badly
deteriorated. The wreck has broken apart and scattered over a large area
but remains to be an absolutely fantastic site for macro photography.


BONITA
The Bonita, also known as Bonvita, was once utilized by the British to
evacuate soldiers from Dunkirk and was later used as a houseboat. Brendal,
the owner of Brendal's Dive shop, purchased the vessel in order to sink her
as a dive site and fish haven. She now rests in 60 feet of water and is used
as a feeding station for groupers.


DEMIRA
Originally built in the Bahamas, the Demira was a 4l l foot [ong, steel
hulled sailing freighter. She was sunk by damage incurred from a hurricane
in 1928.

The Denlira has become a nice shallow water dive. Sitting in only 30 feet
of water, she allows divers plenty of bottom time to fully explore her
wreckage.


Bow of the USS San Jacinto. Drawing courtesy U.S. Naval Historical center.


S.,S. SAN JACINTO
This warship is yet another civil war gunboat. The U.S.S. San Jacinto was
one of the earliest American built steam vessels. In fact, she was built as
an experimental ship to test the technology of new propulsion concepts.
She was laid down by the New York Navy Yard in August of 1847 and
launched on April 16, 1850. A screw frigate, the Jacinto was 234 feet long,
and had a 38 foot beam. During her life on the sea she was plagued by
unreliable machinery which was always in need of repair. naval support to northern troops, capturing the blockade runners Lizzie Davis, Fox, Edward, Roebuck and Lealtad; diplomatic missions overseas; and involvement in China's Second Opium War, the San Jacinto met her
doom by running aground on New Year's Day, 1865. At the time of her
demise, she was engaged in blockade duty for the U.S. Navy. Her guns and
some of her provisions were recovered, but all efforts to salvage the vessel
were unsuccessful.


Courtesy Steamship Historical Society Collection, University of Baltimore Library.

This wreck sits on a slope with a maximum depth of 40 feet. Her structure
is scattered due to the constant pounding of the sea which leaves us no
clue as to the shape she once held. On our visit we encountered a large
friendly green moray eel (Gymnothorax Funebris). To say the least, he was
eager for a free handout, and became a very willing model.


SAN JUAN EVANGELISTA
The Spanish Galleon San Juon Evangelista was part of the Armada de
Barlovento of Spain.

In the year 1714, she was en route from Veracruz to Puerto Rico, transporting
a military payroll of 300,000 pesos, when a violent storm forced her aground.
The ship was left resting high and dry on a reef which made for easy salvage
operations. Her treasure and her cannons were recovered.

H.M.S. MERMAID
The H.M.S. Mermaid, an English warship under the command of Captain
James Hackman, set sail from Charleston, South Carolina to New Providence
on December I , 1759. On the morning of December 4th, the ship was blown
into the breakers by gail force winds blowing from the northeast which forced
her to anchor. The Mermaid had tried to anchor three times, but on each
attempt the force of the storm snapped her line, driving her closer to a shallow
reef. At 8:00 AM Captain Hackman, in an attempt to lighten his vessel with
the hopes of allowing her to pass over the reef, ordered her guns to be cast
overboard. This attempt only prolonged the inevitable fate. The Mermaid finally
ran aground a half mile from shore. For a month the vessel's hull
stood up to the ocean's pounding, allowing time for all of her stores to be
salvaged. On January 6, 17ffi, the Mermaid finally collapsed and sunk beneath
the waves.


H.M.S. Mermaid in her present condition on the ocean floor. Courtesy Carl Fismer, Spanish Main Treasure Company.



The location of this site remained unknown until 1987 when the Spanish
Main Treasure Company with the use of a proton magnetometer was able
to find her resting spot. According to Carl Fismer, a noted treasure hunter,
the site was found after locating one of her anchors in about 40 feet of
water. This clue lead the team to a second anchor, a third, and then a
fourth. Each anchor brought the treasure hunters closer to the H.M.S.
Mermaid. They found her cannons in 30 feet of water, and finally the
remains of her hull were found in only ten feet.

  
Cannon from the H.M.S. Mermaid.
Photo courtesy Carl Fismer, Spanish
Main Treasure Company.


The Spanish Main Treasure Company preserved the historical integrity of
the site. Duke Long, the company's cartographer, drew up detailed drawings
of the wreckage. Although this site was never thought to contain treasure,
the group did recover some very interesting artifacts including two complete cooking hearths, which are the first intact ones ever to be salvaged.


Diver surveying the Mermaid wreck. Photo courtesy Carl Fismer.


Today, the wreck can be found off Mermaid Beach and explored by sport
divers and snorkelers. Walkers Cay Diving runs trips to the wreck regularly,
and who knows what a lucky diver might find.


TRAIN WRECK
 

Barbara Doerenbach explores the Train Wreck near Abaco. Photo bv
Stephen Frink.

The Train Wreck is not one, but two steam locomotive wrecks. We have
not found any historical information, but they were most likely being
transported on a barge when struck by some bad weather.
This site is sitting in only ten feet of water, and is excellent for snorkeling.
The wreckage is scattered, so don't expect to see two complete trains sitting
on the bottom. While exploring the wreckage, divers are able to see the
locomotive's wheels, ballast pile, boilers, and engines.
This area is covered with fire coral, so be careful not to touch anything
unless you're sure of what it is. Wearing gloves for protection is also a
good idea.
 
     
ABACOS Hotel Guide
Find the perfect hotel accommodations for your Bahamas vacation
 
     

Basic shipwreck information and images for the Bahamas section of this site was taken with permission from the book Tropical Shipwrecks by Daniel and Denise Berg. You are invited to submit your shipwreck related articles, images and information. As long as the text, photographs, sketches etc are of professional quality we will showcase them. Full credit will be provide and a same page link to your web site can be arranged.
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All photographs, sketches, images and text

Copyright Capt. Dan Berg / Aqua Explorers Inc

2745 Cheshire Dr
Baldwin NY 11510
E-Mail Wreckvalle@aol.com

 
 
 
 
 
   


 
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