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Many shipwrecks have a story to tell. A few headlines of some of the following vessels

                                 New Shipwreck Additions for book More Shipwrecks of Florida

                                                                       By Steven Danforth Singer 

          While the new book was originally in process of publishing, ownership of the publisher changed and the book was delayed for almost two years. Some of my material was lost during this transition, and a few shipwrecks were not included. I’ve since located that material and included it here along with some new shipwrecks uncovered from newly available sources in the digital world. As I continue to uncover new sources, any new Florida shipwrecks will also be added here.              

                   

 

  1. Mary – Bernard Romans, a famous cartographer, naturalist, privateer, etc., was the master of   the sloop Mary in 1766-67, and which sloop was wrecked in the area of Cape Florida in 1767. In late 1769, while surveying the Tampa area, Romans survey vessel sank in the Manatee River near Tampa, and he then travelled overland to St. Augustine, writing he may have travelled on Ferdinand Soto’s old path, though likely was one made by the native people here. Note: the book The Mangrove Coast (originally published in 1949) by Karl Bickel, mentions there was a wreck of a schooner in the Manatee River below Bradenton that was visible for years and was attributed to Lafitte, a vessel bring supplies for General Jackson at Pensacola, etc. Maybe this was Romans vessel. 

  2. Expedition – Privateer brig, Capt. Chase, 340 tons, of Baltimore. Had just saved the crew of the schooner General Jackson near Great Isaac when she wrecked on Carysfort Reef the next day in 10’ of water, early 1816. All on board were saved and taken to Savannah in the schooner Young Brilliant.

  3. Rolla – Schooner, of Beverly, MA, Capt. Woodbury.  From Ragged Island for Apalachicola, with salt. Took aboard the pilot at St. George Island and attempted to go into Apalachicola Bay, but ran aground on a sandbar around Dec. 10, 1826. She remained there a few hours but final got over the bar, but not before damage to her hull caused her to take on water. She was then purposefully run aground off St. Vincent Island about ½ mile from shore. The crew managed to bring some valuables to shore. Sails, rigging, etc. were saved and was to be auctioned.

  4. Conde de Villanueva – Spanish bark, 147.5 tons, Capt. Carlos de Ageo, from Charleston bound for Cuba with rice and lard. Were caught in a gale on 9/11/1835, and they decided to run her ashore to save the crew. Just before the breakers, they let out the bower chain and anchor and made it fast to the mainmast and she struck bottom soon after. They then cut away the foremast to lighten the ship and help to bring the bow around towards the beach. Fearing the vessel would soon break up they all attempted to swim to shore and two of the crew were drowned. With only the clothes on their back, they walked some distance and came upon the plantation of Abraham Dupont, Esq, who welcomed them in and soon helped them get to St. Augustine.   It was wrecked about 26 miles south of St. Augustine. The Capt. had a court case in St. Augustine regarding tonnage duties paid. A portion of the lard was saved. Wrecked on the Florida coast about 50-60 miles north of Cape Florida, 9/11/1835. 

  5. William Osborne – Brig, of Portland, ME, had 600 bales of cotton loaded at Apalachicola bound for Liverpool, when she caught fire at Apalachicola (spontaneous combustion of one cotton bale was said to be the cause), 6/10/1836, and was a total loss. 

  6. Favonius – British ship, of New Brunswick, Capt. J.W. Dunham, wood hulled, composite metal sheathed, 2 decked, 1,569 Tons, built 1883 at St. John, N.B., 213.6’ x 40.3’ x 24.3’. Burned about 10 miles from land and 18 miles from the Pensacola Lighthouse. Sept. 18, 1897. It was purposely set on fire by a crewman (carpenter) who was trying to do anything to not set sail for Rio de Janeiro with her cargo of lumber, and remain at Pensacola. His pleads to be let off the ship being met with a resounding “no,” he did the following:  “he, for the purpose of securing his release, intentionally mutilated himself by cutting off with an ax the ends of two fingers of his left hand.” He then asked to be taken ashore for medical help, but instead a doctor was brought aboard and after treatment, deemed him still fit for duty. That night the carpenter was heard telling some of the crew that they would all be back in Pensacola soon, and he was later seen approaching the forward ventilator with a large roll of oakum. A fire was discovered soon after. The crew tried to put the fire out but to no avail, The anchor was let go to prevent the ship from going into deeper water as a large swell was running, and it was said “the chain becoming red hot as it went grinding through the hawsepipe. “ The boats were lowered and all made it safely off the burning ship. The carpenter was sent to England along with 4 witnesses to face trial as it was a British ship. The penalty for his deed in the United States was death, and in Great Britain was life imprisonment.

  7. C.S. Glidden – American four-masted schooner, wood hulled, 1,657.94 tons, of Thomaston,  ME, built 1894 at Thomaston, 195.7’ x 41’ x 19.4’ From Tampico to load phosphate at Port Tampa, went aground on Egmont Key, Nov. 1, 1897. A report dated Dec. 16 said the vessel “was imbedded in sand, its starboard rails 3’ under water, and is a hopeless wreck.” The captain and crew were busy saving all they could from the wreck at the time. Note: Another identical copy of the ship with the same name was built soon after at Thomaston.

  8. Priscilla Scribner – American three-masted wood schooner, built 1874 at Milford. DE, of  Wilmington, 454.97 tons, 144,5’ x 33’ x 16.5’, Capt. Van Gilder. From Darien for Philadelphia with lumber. Newspaper reports in early October, 1897 reported that wreckage from the Priscilla Scribner were washing up on Anastasia Island and the north & south beaches of St. Augustine. Pieces of the bow and stern with the schooners name came ashore identifying her. A yawl from the schooner also came ashore with its bow stove in and indications that it was being launched by the crew. No sign of the six on board were found, and it was feared all were lost.

  9.  Asturias – Mexican iron steam tug, 113 tons, from Laguna for Wilmington, wrecked May 24, 1896. Reported as sunk between Alligator and Carysfort Light and also as aground near Matecumbe Key.  Salvage was attempted but they couldn’t raise her.

  10. Avanti – Norwegian ship of Christiania (now Oslo). U.S newspaper reports all say a bark. Originally the ship Belle Morse built at Bath, ME in 1867, by J.P. Morse. Norwegian specs-1314 tons, 185’ x 33’ x 23.7’. Sailed from Ship Island for Greenock, Aug. 3, with pitch pine, Capt. J.R. Agerup. Wrecked on Rebecca Shoal, Aug. 18, 1898. Attempts to salvage her failed and she filled with water. All on board saved.

  11. Lizzie Heyer – Three-masted schooner, of Boston, 360.17 tons, built 1873 at Thomaston, ME, 137’ x 31.4’ x11.3’. Left Jacksonville for Providence, RI, with lumber, Sept. 18, 1898, just before a major storm struck the area. Was reported in early October a portion of her bow with her full name washed ashore at Fernandina along with other wreckage including lumber. Two bodies also washed ashore but were too decomposed to identify though most likely from the Lizzie and another body was reported seen floating off Fernandina. She had a crew of seven. Was under command of Capt. Frank Delay and was also accompanied by his son Capt. Frank Jr. Note: An early Nov. 1898 report said that a lower hull structure (about 160’) with yellow metal sheathing, and some cargo of lumber which appeared to be Florida or Georgia pine, most with the letter “S” stamped on the ends, had washed up at Cape Lookout Light, and it was surmised that it was likely part of the Lizzie Heyer which had drifted north, but not confirmed.

  12. Cadice – Italian bark, 800 tons, built 1873 at Gravosa, 158.1’ x 30.5’ x 24.2’. Left Pensacola for Messina, 2/10/1898, Capt. Capriol. Went ashore on the Quicksands near the Tortugas, Feb, 23, 1898. On April 19, 1898, a steamer reported seeing her drifting in the middle of the shipping lane “lying on her port beam ends, fore and main masts and jibboom gone, mizzen lower mast standing,” while other reports just said it was stripped clean and longboat was still on deck. Area reported at that time: “Rebecca Shoal Light-house, bearing N. NW (magnetic), 6.5 miles, drifting NE.”

  13. Chipman – Norwegian full-rigged ship (newspaper reports say a bark), of Tønsberg, was at Pensacola to load pitch-pine lumber and caught fire due to a lightning strike around June 17, 1899. She was scuttled in order to put the fire out and later condemned. Built 1877 at St. Stephen, NB, 191.2’ x 36.6’ x 22.5’.

  14. Gertrude Abbott – 3-masted schooner, of Philadelphia, 594 tons, 144’ x 35’ x 16.5’, built 1882 at Dennisville, N.J. From Philadelphia for Jax, with coal, Capt. Duneau. Due to a storm she missed the entrance to the St. Johns, and “grounded heavily on the south jetty,” 3/27/1900. Her boats got smashed. There were two different reports on how the crew were saved. One said a line was shot from the beach to the schooner and made fast to a mast, and all were saved via a breeches buoy. Another says the crew all remained in the rigging overnight and were rescued by the tug Three Friends the next morning. It soon broke up.

  15. Nellie M. Slade – Bark, 560 tons, built 1874 at Boston and of Boston, 143.5’ x 33.4’ x 15.9’. From Cuba for Ship Island, Capt. Rawling, ran ashore on an outer reef at the Tortugas, 8/17/1900. Couldn’t be saved and became a total loss.

  16. Ceres - Bark, of Galveston, built 1876 at Rostock, Germany, 467 tons, 143’ x 29.8’ x 17’. From Sabine Pass with lumber, Capt. Taylor. Arrived at Key West leaking, late February, 1901. Was condemned and cargo offloaded onto a schooner. She later sank in Key West harbor. Appears to have been a failed salvage attempt that summer and bankruptcy court was involved and in Nov. 1901, the government was accepting bids for the wreck’s removal.

  17. Monhegan – Four-masted schooner of Bath, Me, built 1890 at Rockland , Me, 1,030 tons, 184.4’ x 39’ x 18.6’, Capt. J.W. Murphy. From Havana for Delaware Breakwater, with 10,600 bags of sugar, went aground the evening of March 16, 1902 on Molasses Reef in rough seas. She soon bilged. Crew saved and some cargo and materials salvaged. 

  18. Otzamiz – Uruguayan bark, 1132 net tons, from Liverpool for Fernandina in ballast to load lumber, wrecked on Amelia Beach, 3/6/1904, about one mile south of the jetties. One report said: “is a total wreck on Amelia Beach. The vessel is listed to port and bilged. Her rudder is gone, and she is deeply grounded.” She later sold for $120 as she lay. Supposedly was anchored offshore in a dense fog and chains parted that evening and she went aground on the beach. The pilot who boarded next morning said two crewmen were on deck with knives and later arrested and charged with mutiny. A report four days after she wrecked said she was fast going to pieces. Last report I saw said the two charged with mutiny were fined, but those were remitted as a shipping agent was then charged with having shanghaied them.

  19. Vanloo – Italian ship, of Genoa, 1,553 net tons, from Buenos Ayres for Pensacola in ballast, went hard aground 25-miles east of the Pensacola Lighthouse on the outside gulf beach, Nov. 16, 1906. She was headed for Pensacola when it was caught in a dead calm and slowly drifted onto the beach. A few hours later a storm hit with 50 mph winds and she almost broke in two. A total loss, crew saved.

  20. Mayflower – Columbian three-masted schooner, 132 net tons, was anchored on Plover Key Point, ten thousand Islands, and dashed to pieces in the hurricane of Oct. 19,1910. Two lives lost, one being  child. All others saved by schooner Florida though all survivors had to stay in the trees overnight to avoid drowning in the high surf.

  21. Maria – Uruguayan bark, built 1878, 567 tons, 140.1’ x 30.7’ x 21’. From Jacksonville for Carrabelle for lumber, Capt. J.R. Pickett, went aground on the east side of San Phillips Shoal, eighteen miles south of Carrabelle, the night of March 23, 1911. The crew abandoned ship the next night except for the Capt. and one crew member. A storm hit the next day and it was feared she would break up but a report on March 30th said there was 3’ of water in her hold and was hoped she could be saved. The 1912 Lloyd’s Register has her as wrecked, so was never saved.

  22. Nimkee – Dredge, owned by the Trumbo Dredging Co, of Havana, and was one of the most powerful suction dredges in its class, had finished its job filling in a marsh area for development at Daytona and was preparing to be towed back to Havana. On May 28, 1915 around 8:00 in the morning, a large tug waited outside Mosquito Inlet to tow the Nimkee back to Havana.  A launch had both the Nimkee and a large barge with dredging equipment in tow proceeded out the inlet to the tug, but when almost to the bar, a strong southeast squall struck and blew the barge and the dredge onto the north shore. The tug came in closer and the launch managed to get to the tug and retrieve a tow line to attach to the dredge. The launch then took safety back inside the inlet. Unknown if the tow line failed or if the tug just wasn’t able to get the dredge off, but by noon, the seas were now breaking over her and she was being pushed higher up onto the beach. There she remained, and at low tide people could walk around her. As days passed the dredge further imbedded itself in the sand, and by June 11th, any hope of re-floating her was abandoned and she was being broken up to save whatever machinery and other parts could be salvaged.

  23. Cumberland County – Three-masted schooner, built 1916 (only been in service for 4 months) at Nova Scotia, of Parrsboro, 419 tons, 162.2’ x 35.9’ x 12.4’. From Gulfport for Martinique with a load of pine lumber, wrecked on a reef about two miles west of Tortugas Light, 2/3/1917. All the crew were saved by the fishing smack Elsie of Carrabelle after much hardship.

  24. Charles K. Schull – Schooner, built 1889 at Camden, NJ, 884 tons, 176.3’ x 38’ x 18.2’, of Philadelphia. From Gulfport for Rotterdam, with phosphate, Capt. O’Brien, foundered about 15 miles west of the Tortugas, 2/1/1917. The crew took to the boats and drifted for five days until rescued by the Norwegian steamer Mt. Vernon and taken to Key West.

  25. Maria Louisa – Greek schooner. Built at Madison, CT, 1884, 500.98 tons, 155’ x 34’ x 11.5’. Originally the John L. Treat. Wrecked on the Tortugas, 4/28/1917.

  26. Aigua Freda – Spanish three-masted schooner, 400 net tons, from Barcelona for Jacksonville, in ballast, burned about 30 miles from Jacksonville, 9/2/1917. Crew abandoned her after a large gas tank exploded on deck, and they were picked up by a fishing boat 24 hours later.

  27. Springfield – Four-masted schooner, 538 net tons, 172’ x 36.1’ x 13.7’, of Puerto Rico (used to sail from Jacksonville). From Gulfport for Puerto Rico, with lumber, was abandoned (either 120 or 160) miles south of Pensacola, 4/9/1918, after a storm caused her to leak badly. Crew were rescued by the smack Sea Connett and brought to Pensacola. Capt. E.C. Hunter searched for his abandoned vessel on the tug Nimrod out of Mobile. They found it on fire and decided to return later to see if they could tow her back. On their second trip, they only found floating wreckage. The Capt. of the Sea Connett said he rescued the crew at Lat 27.40° N, 87.28°W, and later on the 19th saw it again at Lat. 28.40°N, long. 87.28°W. Possible Florida shipwreck.

  28. Santa Cristina – Twin screw schooner/steamer. Built 1917 at Aberdeen, WA, of Hoquaim, WA, & owned by the W.R. Grace Line, 2159 tons, 224.5’ x 42.6’ x 25.9’. From Barranquilla for New Orleans with coffee & hides (another source says 2,000 tons of lumber), sunk after an explosion in the engine room about 50 miles north of Havana, 7/8/1919, which could put it close to Key West. The 29 crewmembers and 5 passengers took to the boats and were picked up by a passing schooner. Possible Florida shipwreck.

  29. Adonis – British 3 masted schooner, built 1903 at Bridgetown, NS, 350 tons, 140’ x 32’ x 11.3’, of Bridgetown, Barbados. From Jacksonville for Sagua La Grande, Cuba,  Capt. Smith, with yellow pine lumber. Was disabled during a gale and abandoned about 20 miles NE of Jupiter Inlet whose crew were picked up by a passing steamer. Waterlogged, and with sails fully set, she then drifted ashore opposite Jensen, FL, where she sank and quickly went to pieces in a heavy surf, 10/19/1920, a total loss.

  30. Mount Hamilton – Norwegian four-masted schooner, 1537 tons, 231’ x 45’ x 18’, built 1919 at Seattle, WA. From Brunswick, Ga. for Havana, with steel rails and lumber. She caught fire June 2, 1921 due to one source saying some tanks of benzine had exploded. Unable to put the fire out, the crew took to the boats and landed at Miami. Later reports said she was burned to the waterline about a mile off Fowey Rock Light, and some may try and salvage the cargo.

  31. Celeste D – Three-masted schooner of Weymouth, NS, 649 tons, 164’ x 23.3’ x 15.6’, built 1919 at Meteghan River, NS. From Pensacola for Le Have, N.S., in ballast, Capt. J.H. Richards, and caught fire at one am, 6/26/1921, when a crewman tried to light a lamp with gasoline instead of kerosene, causing an explosion. The fire quickly spread, and the crew had only about 15 minutes to lower the boats (a gas-powered launch & a skiff) and abandon ship about 75 miles off the coast of Florida. They tied the skiff to the launch and headed west but the gas quickly ran out. When daylight came, the captain put two crewmen in the skiff and sent them towards the Florida coast. The two landed at Coronado, FL, and soon met with the lighthouse keeper, Capt. Lindquist, by Mosquito Inlet. Lindquist soon found a boat to go search for the launch. They were able to locate it and tow it back to shore. The crew were brought to the lighthouse to rest and later taken to New Smyrna. As the schooner had burnt to the waterline, no salvage was attempted.

  32. Lizzie A. Williams – Three-masted schooner of Jacksonville, 188 tons, 125’ x 23.7’ x 7.5’, built 1892 at Bethel, DE. Foundered at Tampa in 1922.  Merchant Vessels of the US 1923, simply lists her as being abandoned.

  33. Cristobal – Spanish 3-masted schooner, of Alicanto, 212 tons, 97.8’ x 30.3’ x 11.2’, built 1919. From Havana for Cagliari, owner & Capt. Juan Rodriguez, with a cargo of antique tiles and building materials from Cuba. She became becalmed in the Gulf Stream, and drifted for several days before grounding off Walton (a now defunct town not to be confused with Walton County in the Panhandle) about three miles north of Jensen and 100 yards offshore in 14’ of water, 11/22/1923 ( also stated as wrecked 12 miles south of Ft. Pierce, which is about where Walton is on old maps). The crew swiftly abandoned her, claiming the ship was “bad luck,” and the hull was soon sinking in the sand and breaking up in the surf. The rescued crewmembers were taken to both the Indian River Coast Guard Station, and Gilberts Bar Station. Supposedly coins, etc. dating from the 1715 fleet period have been found in this general area over the years from a wreck referred to as the “Power Plant Wreck.” I wonder if the so-called “antique tiles” dated from the 18th century. I’m sure just as in the USA, that builders in Cuba would save old decorative tiles, and other antique building materials when tearing down or remodeling old buildings, and possibly unused antique building materials were still stored in Cuba and being sold.

  34. Valdarno – Italian steel steamer (ex-War Persian), of Genoa, 5311 tons, 400.2’ x 52.3’ x 28.5’, built 1918 at Glasgow. Burned at the St. Andrews Bay Lumber Co. dock at Bay Harbor, 10/24/1924. Had loaded 1,300,000’ of pine lumber and 300 barrels of rosin. Was a complete loss, and also caused $125,000 dollars of damage to the dock and lumber stored there.

  35. Campania – Schooner, of Cayman Brac, built 1903 at Luneburg, NS, 88.8’ x 24.6’ x 9.2’. On the morning of 11/17/1925, Capt. Banks said they were hit by a storm around Lat 24.52N; Long. 85.07W, when some planking tore off the hull and she began to sink within 25 minutes. Crew took to the lifeboat and were luckily picked up the next day by the schooner Horace M. Bickford (see #33).

  36. Horace M. Bickford – Three-masted schooner, of Tampa, 503 tons, 147.5’ x 33.5’ x 13.7’, built 1907 at Phippsburg, ME. From Miami for Tampa, Capt. A.N. Borden, was already in a leaky state when she came upon the crew of the Campania which she took aboard. On 11/21/1925, she was also in a sinking state and had to be abandoned. At Lat. 24.51N; Long. 85.51W. and were all picked up a few hours later by the Steam tanker Olean and taken to Texas City. Another report from Key West, Nov. 24, said she was seen 125 miles NW of the Tortugas and posed a hazard to navigation. This report also stated the crews form both the Campania & the Horace M. Bickford were taken off the Horace by the lifeboat lowered from the Olean. Both the Campania and the Horace M. Bickford are possible Florida wrecks as both may have drifted many miles before sinking, as I’ve reported on a number of vessels that have drifted from the Gulf, around the Keys, and into the Gulf Stream, with some then becoming wrecks in the Keys or off Florida’s east coast.

  37. Geneva – Brigantine, of the Whitney & Bodden Shipping Co., Mobile, AL, 495 tons, 150’ x 36.3’ x 14’, built 1892 at Benicia, CA. Was from Gulfport for Mayaguez, with 672, 020’ of lumber, Capt. V.H. Bowden, when she caught fire about 25 miles SE of Fowey Rock Light, 6/11/1926, which quickly spread. The crew took to the lifeboat and were soon picked up by the tanker Gulfstate. She burned to the waterline and turned upside down drifting north. On the 14th was spotted about 75 miles northeast of Miami and a hazard to navigation. Was reported that this was THE LAST BRIGANTINE STILL ACTIVE! There are some brigantines still sailing today, but they were either converted from an original schooner rigged vessel or are a much newer replica build.

  38. Artemis – Honduran steamer, steel, twin screw, 559 tons, 161.3’ x 26.3’ x 15’, single deck, built 1912 at Wilmington, DE. From Gulfport for Mayaguez, to pick up bananas and fruit, Capt. Harold Borden, with lumber, caught fire around 10pm, 2/24/1927, while about 20 miles off Key West. The flames spread quickly and the crew were able to save one lifeboat and abandon ship. They were picked up by the vessel City of Houston. Believe the fire started in a boiler. Was reported from Key West on the 25th, that around 11pm yesterday, she was engulfed in flames “in plain view of South Beach here, went down just before noon today, a total loss.” Owned by the Tropical Fruit Co., of Tampa. The Capt. was later to have said “he’d never got to sea with a crew of 13 ever again.”

  39. Overbrook – Steamer/oil tanker, of N.Y., 5725 tons, 400.8’ x 54.3’ x 31.4’, built 1918 at Chester, PA, fitted with cylindrical tanks for petroleum storage, single screw powered by two Westinghouse steam turbine engines. From Texas City for N.Y., with 70,000 barrels of crude oil, when an explosion occurred in the pump room causing a fire which soon spread, 4/26/1928. Unable to put the fire out, the crew took to the lifeboats and were rescued by the steamer Fred W. Weller. The Coast Guard destroyer Wilkes (on loan from the Navy), intercepted the burning ship, and also took off the crew from the F.W. Weller. As to where she was abandoned, I have different reports. Merchant Vessels of the U.S. said lost at Lat. 32°15’ N, Long. 52°77’ W, which appears was incorrect or a misprint, and is why I originally didn’t include it in my books. I recently saw a Lloyd’s report saying burned off Florida and checked out news articles from that period. Most newspapers reported her as abandoned at “Lat. 28:55N; Long. 79:30W.” Also said 100 miles east of St. Augustine and also as 150 miles north of Jupiter. A report from Charleston dated 4/28 (where rescued crew were brought to), said the fire was out and the crew planned to return to the ship that day. As both Lloyd’s and Merchant Vessels of the U.S. state she was lost due to fire, and not condemned or broken up, I’ll assume it sank somewhere off the coast of Florida, though can’t confirm. If it was in a sinking state, not towable, and drifting, the Coast Guard may have also sunk her to prevent a collision with other ships. Possible Florida wreck.

  40. James Douglas -  Nicaraguan auxiliary motor screw schooner, built 1914 in Nova Scotia, 105’ x 26.3’ x 10.4’. Lloyd’s lists as abandoned 60 miles west of Boca Grande, FL, with a cargo of lumber, 10/16/1932.

  41. Edith Dawson – Schooner, of Nova Scotia. Though headlines said lost off Florida coast, it was abandoned about 150 miles off Fernandina, and likely drifted north of Florida, but who knows so listing it here. From Nova Scotia for the Turks Islands for salt. Lost sails in a gale Nov. 1932 and pumps failed. Her boats were crushed by the waves but all crew were saved by the tanker Sylvan Arrow’s lifeboat just as the schooner was listing. The ships dog jumped into the ocean for the lifeboat, but was immediately eaten by sharks, and the crew were sure lucky that tanker was nearby. They set fire to the wreck before leaving. Possible Florida wreck.

  42. Sonora – Freighter, built 1916 in Toledo, OH as a four-masted steel hulled schooner with a single diesel, 2220 tons. Re-rigged with twin diesels and 3 masts in 1924. Last registered in Panama, she sailed from Freeport, TX bound for Boston with a cargo of sulphur, when she caught fire about 20 miles off Hobe Sound, June 22, 1945 and drifted north. John Burgess first discovered the fire in the aft area and shut the two engines down suffering burns in the process. Was said a faulty exhaust was the cause of the fire. The fire prevented anyone from getting to the radio room to send an SOS, but luckily a plane from Morrison Airfield spotted the burning ship. Crew of 31 (20 merchantmen and five armed guards), plus the ship’s dog, got in the lifeboats, and all were rescued by an Army crash boat and the Coast Guard. A wreck off Brevard County was recently identified as the Sonora by diver Michael Barnette and others.

  43. Southern Districts – Converted LST, built 1944 at Leavenworth, KS, 3337 tons, 314.3’ X 50’ x 24.1’. Left Port Sulphur for Bucksport, ME, Dec.3, 1954, with sulphur. Reported missing a few days later when not heard from along with the loss of all 23 crewmen. Last seen 12/5/1954 at Lat. 24°N, long. 83°30’W, and not heard from since. A life ring with her name on it came ashore on a beach off Sand Key, FL, Jan.2, 1955. A search from the Carolinas to the Gulf was made, but no trace of her was found. A storm was reported in the vicinity where last seen. Her sister ship had broken in half during a similar storm and immediately sank off Cape Hatteras in 1951, with no chance to send an SOS, and only a few of her crew survived having managed to get in one lifeboat. Was believed the same fate may have happened to the Southern Districts. An inquiry did mention that her hull was recently patched instead of replacing some rusted plates.

  44. Santa Gloria – Honduran wood hulled freighter, built 1944, 512 tons. From Esmeralda for Tampa, with bananas, reported as foundered 120 miles west of Key West and also that two shrimp boats also sunk 70 miles west of Key West during a storm with heavy winds, 1/18/1956.

  45. Western Ace – Fishing vessel, 720 tons, 156.2’ x 33.7’ x 17.3’, wood hull, built 1964 at Whitestone, NY, of San Juan, PR, owned by Del Monte of PR. Lloyd’s says burned and sank, 12/4/1970, 150 miles SW of Panama City. Merchant Vessels of the US has her wrongly listed as burned in the Pacific.

  46. Tropic Ace – Bahamian freighter, of Nassau, 116 tons, 115’ long, built 1962, from Miami for Nicolls Town, Andros, with fertilizer & trailers, foundered around 25 miles off Ft. Lauderdale, 11/22/1972. All crew picked up by the tanker Texaco Mississippi.

  47. R/V Fathom II – Ex-Navy minesweeper built in 1943, 135’ long. Was recently converted into a treasure hunting vessel searching for Spanish treasure wrecks off Nicaragua. Was on way to Jacksonville for her annual overhaul, and was following the pilot boat into the St. John’s just before dawn, when it was rammed by the 579’ Greek freighter Gavion, splitting the vessel in two, about 1 or 1.5 miles off the mouth of the St. John’s River, and immediately sank in 38’ of water, 10/16/1972. Capt. Batchelder of Ft. Lauderdale & the Honduran crew of 6, were all saved after jumping overboard just before the collision.

  48. Ice Fog – Tug, 133 tons, built 1973, 71.5’ x 25’ x 11.5’. Was towing the 80’ barge McDermott, when she ran into a gale with 10’ seas off Florida. The tug began to sink and the tow line parted about 18 miles south of Molasses Reef, 2/10/1973. The tug soon sank and the crew were rescued by a passing vessel. The barge carried around five million gallons of molasses and it drifted north until it ran aground on Molasses Reef in John Pennekamp State Park about 150-200 yards from the Molasses Reef Light. A hole was soon punctured in her port stern, and about 2,300 tons of molasses was spilled. Reports said the current was taking the molasses away from the shore, and having dove the area many times in later years, it doesn’t appear to have caused any major damage. Molasses was a common cargo going back many years, and most believe is how Molasses Reef got its name, likely from one of the many ships wrecked there in the 1800’s, which carried a cargo of molasses. I believe the barge was later salvaged. Of all the places off Florida a barge full of molasses could wreck, what better place than Molasses Reef!

  49. Ukola – Panamanian freighter, 3784 tons, built 1955, from Macoris for Galveston, with sugar. Broke in two at #4 hold in heavy weather, 1/19/1977, at Lat. 25°12’N, Long. 85°25’W. The captain and 2 crewmen were the only survivors found of the 23 on board. An inquiry determined a faulty hatch in the cargo area and an untrained crew were to blame.

  50. Linda – Panamanian freighter, 2341 tons, built 1955, from Port Everglades for Venez, with paper, sprung a leak and was beached to prevent her sinking one mile west of Molasses Reef, May. 1977. She was re-floated and towed into the Miami River, where she listed and then grounded. She was re-floated again, towed out to sea about 16 miles offshore, and scuttled, 12/21/1977.

  51. Koral – Panamanian freighter, fifth name she sailed under, built 1963, 259.5’ x 39.4’ x 16.7’. From Dominican Republic for New Orleans, with sugar, struck some mooring dolphins and sank in the Gulf of Mexico about 200 miles west of the Dry Tortugas, 11/5/1979. Possible Florida wreck.

  52. Roy Von – Bahamian cargo vessel, built 1927, 143 tons, 127’, from Miami for Andros, with a general cargo. Caught fire about 25 miles off Ft. Lauderdale, 3/23/1980. Drifted north and was about 20 miles off Ft. Pierce, 3/25/1980, when it was decided to scuttle her that day. The crew of 8 had jumped overboard and were all saved by the Coast Guard.

  53. Artemis – American cargo vessel, built 1903, 300 tons, from Mobile for Norfolk. Foundered in the Gulf during heavy weather at lat. 26°40’N, Lat. 84°40’W, 5/9/1980. Eight crewmen saved. Info is from Lloyd’s, but I found nothing matching in U.S. vessel registrations.

  54. Gulf Deacon – Panamanian registered tug, 116 tons. Capsized and sank in rough seas about 20 miles SE of Miami, 5/4/1982. The four crewmen got off safely and climbed aboard the barge they were towing. Three were airlifted by the Coast Guard and taken to Miami. One stayed on the barge. Possibly the tug built 1966, 63.7’ long.

  55. Aleutian Bounty – Fishing boat (shrimper), built 1983, 150 tons, 97’ long. Sent an SOS 11/23/1984, about 150 miles SW of Ft. Myers (Lloyd’s says at 25°25’N, 80°30’W). A life-raft was found days later, and a wide search was made including the Keys and towards Cuba, but no survivors were found. Possible Florida wreck.

  56. Contender – Fishing vessel, 101 tons, built 1974. Foundered at Lat. 27°N; Lat. 83°53’W, 11/20/1985.

  57. Stormy Seas – Fishing vessel, 101 tons, built 1973, foundered in good weather at Lat. 29°12’N; Long. 84°54’W, 11/18/1988. The Stormy Seas III of the same tonnage also foundered in good weather in the Gulf the same year.

  58. Likco 1 – Fishing vessel, 108 tons, wood hull, built 1980 at St. Augustine, 71.9’ x 21’ x 9’, sprung a leak and capsized about 15 miles off Melbourne, FL, 12/7/1989, and subsequently scuttled.

  59. Artibonite – Honduran or Haitian freighter, 289 tons, wood hull, built 1946 at San Francisco. From Miami for Haiti, when she foundered 12 miles SE of Fowey Rocks, 3/31/1990, after her bow split open. Crew got in life-raft and rescued.

  60. Alene K – Fishing vessel, 127 tons, built 1976, 68’ x 22’. Lloyd’s says she caught fire and sank off Ft. Myers Beach, 8/17/1993.

  61. Jeano Express – Steel hull freighter, of Belize City, 449 tons, built 1952, 187’ x 29.8’ x 12’, sailed under numerous names. From Jamaica for Miami, no cargo, foundered in heavy weather about 24 miles SE of Key Largo (Lloyd’s says at Lat. 24°42’N; Long. 80°42’W), 11/14/1994. Crew and a puppy on board all saved by the Coast Guard, which then sunk the partially submerged vessel.

  62. Marjorie B. McAllister – Tug, 189 tons, built 1974, 115’ long, foundered during hurricane Erin, 8/3/1995, while towing a barge, at lat. 30°54’N; Long. 80°08’W. Crew took to life-raft and later rescued.

  63. Kathleen D – Honduran steel freighter, 843 tons, 234.5’ x 32’ x 12.5’, built 1965, Capt. Leonid Sokolov, foundered 150 miles west of Tampa, 1/7/1996, at approximate Lat. 27°40’N; Long. 85°51’W. From Mobile for Jamaica, with phosphate, encountered heavy seas when a large wave swamped the stern and she began to sink. Only one crewman of nine onboard survived. The Tampa Bay Times told his story. The main life-raft with all survival supplies broke loose and two crew drowned trying to get it. Only two small 8’ life rafts were left and one was deflated and under water. The lone survivor and another man managed to get in the one small raft sliding down the rope that attached it to the sinking ship. They uncoupled the line but were unable to get to the other survivors now in the water. The raft was soon overturned by one of the large waves and only the one was able to get back in it. He drifted for five days surviving on what he found floating in the ocean until miraculously spotted by the phosphate carrier Marine Duval, 150 miles off St. Pete.

  64. Gonave Express – Freighter, of Belize, about 80’ long, 272 tons, built 1972, foundered about 55 miles SE of Miami after losing her engine shaft in a storm and taking on water, 12/16/1997. Was empty and bound for Miami. A Coast Guard helicopter rescued all ten crew in heavy winds and seas.

  65. Miss Fernandina – Shrimp boat, 129 tons, built 1980, left Port Canaveral, 4/15/1999. Capt. Jones reported that same day that his propeller got tangled in a fishing net about 65 miles off Flagler Beach. Vessel was reported missing and Coast Guard searched for three days. A friend and son of the captain hired a private plane four days later and spotted two bodies and debris in the ocean but had to return for fuel. No bodies were ever recovered.