Surf and Sand Sinks Sindia Salvors

A golden Buddha, fine bone china, jade figurines, gems and other Oriental treasures were rumored to be hidden aboard the SV Sindia, a majestic windjammer that ran aground off Ocean City, New Jersey, in 1901. Still another conjecture had the lower cargo hold of the three-deck, four-masts bark filled with treasure looted from Buddha temples during China’s 1900 Boxer Rebellion. (An uprising by militia known as the “Boxers,” practitioners of Chinese martial arts.).

BVI Hurricane of 1867 Waylays RMS Rhone

“Being in the wrong place at the wrong time” could have been Capt. Robert F. Wooley’s mantra on October 29, 1867, when he lost his ship—the RMS Rhone—his life and the lives of 122 passengers and crew. Twenty-two survivors lived to tell the tale of one of the worst hurricanes to strike the British Virgin Islands.

SS President Coolidge Suffers Naval Blunder in WWII

Like the old Chinese proverb, “A bee stinging a weeping face,” the troopship SS President Coolidge experienced one mishap after another before it became a victim of friendly fire in WWII. When it struck the first mine, Capt. Henry Nelson figured he might save his 654-foot vessel, but the second hit convinced him it was pointless and he had to save the 5,340 U.S. Army and naval personnel aboard.

Winfield Scott is No Match for Foggy Foe

When the paddle wheel steamer SS Winfield Scott sank in 1853, its namesake wooden figurehead was on the prow, a symbol of one man’s spirit and courage. The ship’s captain and crew were inspired, but they were no match in a battle against thick fog, heavy surf and jagged rocks off Anacapa Island, near Ventura, California.