Historic Coast Guard shipwreck discovered off California coast

Researchers discovered the shipwreck of a U.S. Coast Guard ship USCGC McCulloch, that first set out to sea during the Spanish-American War and sank Northwest of Point Conception, Southern California 100 years ago.

6-pounder gun located on the starboard bow (by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration & United States Coast Guard)

The ship was discovered last fall during a routine survey after researchers noticed a flurry of fish as sunken ships offer a great place for fish to hide. The wreckage rests on the seabed with a 38-centimetre torpedo tube molded into the bow stem, a 6-pound gun mounted in a platform at the starboard bow, and the top of a propeller blade draped with white anemones nearly 91,5 metres below the surface. The ship was reported to have sunk on June 13, 1917, after colliding with a civilian steamship.

Officer’s quarters in the stern (by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration & United States Coast Guard)

The vessel is reported to have began its career as part of Commodore George Dewey’s Asiatic Squadron in the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War in 1898. After the war, the cutter patrolled the West Coast and later was dispatched to enforce fur seal regulations in the Pribilof Islands off the coast of Alaska, where it also served as a floating courtroom in remote areas. At present strong currents and an abundance of sediment prevent moving the delicate vessel.

Archive footage of USCG Cutter McCulloch (by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration & United States Coast Guard)

(after The Spokesman-Review, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration & United States Coast Guard)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *