Wreck sites: Eastern coast of the United States
New York coastListed below by year of sinking
Barge Dighton (1919)
Barge Cities Service #4 (1936)
Barge Lake Hemlock (1936)
Tug Thames (1973)
F/V Wind Blown (1984)
Early in the morning of November 16, 1919, the tug Cohannet had left New York and headed through Long Island Sound toward Taunton, Massachussets. It was towing four barges full of coal: the Maryland, Eugene Hooper, Tauton and Dighton.
The Dighton was over 20 years old, had been built in 1896 in the yard of Kelly and Spear in Bath, Maine. She was 142 feet long with a 30-foot beam.
When the tug and barges left New York, the wind was from the west and freshening. The westerly wind soon turned into a full gale. By the time the tug passed Stratford Shoal, the barges were awash. At daybreak, the tug was south of Clinton Harbor, near the northerly end of Six Mile Reef.
There were two crewmembers on the Dighton. Realizing their barge was sinking, they raised their distress flag. The tug "dropped the doomed barge from her tow and turned about to rescue the crew."
The Dighton sank into 14 fathoms of water. (840 feet).
For the past several decades lobstermen and fisherman have used the wreck as a fishing ground. Blackfish, porgies and sea bass were prevalent.
In 1990, a research ship from the National Ocean Service conducted a side scan survey of wrecks in Long Island Sound. The Dighton was found exactly at the position described in the 1919 Notice To Mariners.
Approximately four miles southeast of the Saybrook breakwater, off the Connecticut River, lies the Cities Service #4. This is an oil barge that sank during a storm on January 24, 1936, and now lies in 140 feet of water.
The steel wreck rises 10 to 15 feet off the bottom, and is easily found by use of a fishfinder. Blackfish and bluefish congregate here.
The 260-foot coal barge Lake Hemlock sank south of Six Mile Reef on December 13, 1957. The wreck is subjected to strong tides at times.
Six miles south-southwest of Cornfield Point lies the 55-foot tug Thames which went down in a storm in the fall of 1973.
On March 28, 1984, off Montauk, NY, the 65-foot, steel-hulled Wind Blown, with a crew of 4, had been long-line fishing in Atlantis Canyon and were working their way back to port
According to the article published the next day in the East Hampton Star, the "next-to-last" contact with the crew came at 7 am that morning. The captain gave their location as 12 miles off the point and said he expected to reach Lake Montauk before 11 am.
She never arrived.
The Coast Guard reported the storm carried 60-mile-per-hour winds and seas to 18 feet. Other fishermen who rode out the storm reported seas as high as 30 feet with gusts over 100 mph.
The Coast Guard launched a massive search for the ship and its crew, to no avail. After a week, however, all that was found was an EPIRB (Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacons ), debris from the pilot house, paddles, and some clothing.
A week later, however, according to Tim Coleman, the wreck of the Blown Away was found, as a day dragger ripped his nets on a "new hang" about 12 miles from the Point. The official position in Coast Guard records is listed as 40-54.5 x 71-44, but a slightly better location, according to Coleman, is 40-54.7 x 71-43.7. The ship lies in 30 to 31 fathoms of water on the west side of the Butterfish Hole.
Bibliography: The Fisherman, March 15, 1992, Tim Coleman
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