Founded by Dr. Clive Cussler, the National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA) is a non-profit, volunteer foundation dedicated to preserving our maritime heritage through the discovery, archaeological survey and conservation of shipwreck artifacts.

Clive Cussler, Founder of NUMA

Emerald Wreck is Gem of Jersey Shore

The Francis Wright under sail.

The Francis Wright under sail.

“Is she is or is she ain’t my baby? Is my baby still my baby now?!” This refrain from an old ditty could be the theme song for a select group of East Coast divers who think they’ve found the remains of the Francis Wright. Or, could it be the Alexander Oldham?

The debate began over a site some call the “Gem of New Jersey,” or better still the “Emerald Wreck,” a small coastal freighter discovered in the early 1970s by George Hoffman and Charlie Stratton. Hoffman salvaged tons of copper and brass, all affected by a salt water chemical reaction that turned everything “emerald green.” Other divers have salvaged green glass ginger ale bottles that “glisten like emeralds” when cleaned and displayed. more »

Theo’s Wreck Unveils a Shroud of Mystery

Theo Wreck - Sinking (credit UNEXSO)

Theo Wreck – Sinking (credit UNEXSO)

Theo Galanoupoulos isn’t exactly a household name in diving, but thanks to him, thousands of divers have visited one of the best dive sites in the Bahama Islands. His efforts to save a rusting hulk from the wrecking ball have been lauded for more than 30 years. Naming the wreck after him was a no-brainer, otherwise divers would have visited the M/V Island Cement or the M/S Logna—two official names given to the ship over its 28-years of service.

The 230-foot steel hull freighter was launched in Norway in 1954 and christened M/S Logna. It transported general cargo between Norway and Spain until 1969 when it was sold to the Island Cement Company, Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, where it was converted to a bulk carrier. Renamed M/V Island Cement, the vessel hauled sand, gravel and cement from Florida to its port of entry, New Providence (Nassau) and other islands. more »

Pride of Baltimore Memorialized at Fort McHenry

Pride of Baltimore Under Full Sail. Credit: Greg Pease

Pride of Baltimore Under Full Sail. Credit: Greg Pease

On May 14, 2016, friends of the Pride of Baltimore gathered at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine to memorialize the sinking of the schooner and loss of its captain and three crew 30 years ago. The seaworthy vessel—a replica of an 1800s Baltimore Clipper—was struck suddenly by a wind microburst while sailing 240 miles north of Puerto Rico. Cyclonic winds of up to 80 mph rolled the ship on its port side where it remained for less than a minute before plunging beneath the waves.

At the gathering, Helen Bentley, former member of the U.S. House of Representativ es, remembered a call she received in her office at the Capitol from Baltimore Mayor William Donald Schaefer. “He was crying,” she said, “when he blurted, ‘We’ve lost her! We’ve lost her!’ I asked who it was we lost and he said, ‘Our ship, the Pride, it’s gone. It sank in the Bermuda Triangle.’” more »

Unlucky Finale for Great Lakes Freighter

The Regina

The Regina

When commercial diver Wayne Brusate discovered the remains of the SS Regina—a victim of the Great Storm on the Great Lakes—he dubbed it the “good luck wreck.” Boxes of horseshoes and other salvaged artifacts symbolized a lucky streak for him, but not for the Canadian package freighter. The ship, its cargo and all hands—15 including the captain—were lost in Lake Huron off Pt. Sanilac, Michigan, in early November, 1913.

Bad luck seemed to shadow 34-year-old Capt. Ed McConkey. The Regina was his first command on the company’s last voyage of the season. But he wasn’t the only unlucky mariner to sail on that fateful day. Many other Great Lakes’ captains skipped the day’s storm warnings and hauled anchor for just one more trip. In one of the worst storms ever, 19 vessels in four of the five lakes went down, eight of them in Lake Huron. More than 250 men were lost. more »

Key Largo Ghost Ship Lures Thousands

The Benwood, anchored off Rosario, Argentina in 1924

The Benwood, anchored off Rosario, Argentina in 1924

Most of the dive operators in the Upper Florida Keys might agree that the MV Benwood—a 360-foot freighter sunk during WWII—has attracted thousands of divers throughout the years. Where else can you find a colorful, coral encrusted wreck overrun with marine life in clear, shallow water?

The site is frequently used for checkout dives, while experienced divers keep returning to the popular Norwegian cargo ship site listed on NOAA Nautical Survey Charts. But years ago, the charts weren’t always accurate. They listed the wreck as the MV Brentwood thus leading researchers, including yours truly, down a dead-end. It wasn’t until I consulted the late Jean Haviland (See, “The Wreck Lady: She Will Have Shipwrecks Wherever She Goes,” May 31, 2013) that I unearthed the mystery of what some divers call the “Ghost Ship.” more »


photo of Clive Cussler © Los Angeles Photographer Rob Greer