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.
Why is Savannah so shy in promoting its excellent dive sites which haven’t been reviewed in scuba diving publications for years? And why does it seem to be a best kept secret, sort of like a dark horse that gallops in the shadows of a plethora of enticing shipwrecks?
“Lots of reasons,” says Capt. Jerry Sapp, a former U.S. Navy diver who operated a dive charter boat for more than 25 years. “First of all, our best diving is 30 to 50 miles offshore where clear, warm waters veer in from the Gulf Stream to attract fish and other marine life to our wrecks. Experienced divers, especially those who spearfish, know our sites. They’re used to the two to three-hour boat rides, strong currents and increased charter prices. Basically, we’re talking about experienced, hard-core divers who want to chase Goliath grouper, snapper, mackerel and amberjack, just to name a few of the popular species. Divers encounter everything from lobsters to turtles, sharks, barracuda, stingrays, bottle-nosed dolphins and much more. It’s all in 80 to 130 feet of pristine waters.” more »
When Nelson Waite, a commercial diver searching for fish and lobsters off Juno Beach, Florida, discovered what was later identified as one of the oldest Spanish wrecks in our waters, he wasn’t too impressed. In fact, he thought the artifact—an anchor with a 12-foot shank and large flukes—was from a relatively recent vessel. It appeared too elongated and wasn’t extremely covered with marine growth. He gave it one more glance as he glided by on his diver propulsion vehicle, then left and never thought about it until 10 years later. more »
“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 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 »
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 »