Sunken Coast Guard ship staying put
SAN FRANCISCO — A U.S. Coast Guard ship that sank off the coast of Southern California 100 years ago won’t be moved anytime soon, officials said Tuesday.
Strong currents and an abundance of sediment would make moving the delicate vessel too difficult, officials said in detailing the discovery of the San Franciscobased cutter McCulloch. They also paid tribute to its crew, including two members who died in the line of duty.
Researchers focused on the area of the shipwreck three miles northwest of Point Conception after noticing a flurry of fish. Sunken ships offer a great place for fish to hide.
The archaeological remains, including a 15-inch torpedo tube molded into the bow stem and the top of a propeller blade, are draped with white anemones 300 feet below the surface, officials said. Fish swim lazily past a 6-pound gun mounted in a platform at the starboard bow.
The ship sank on June 13, 1917, after colliding with a civilian steamship. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Coast Guard discovered the wreck last fall during a routine survey.
The McCulloch began its career as part of Commodore George Dewey’s Asiatic Squadron in the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. Cutters based in San Francisco in the late 1800s and early 1900s represented U.S. interests throughout the Pacific.
After the war, the cutter patrolled the West Coast and later was dispatched to enforce fur seal regulations in the Pribilof Islands off the coast of Alaska.
A FISH swims inside the officers’ quarters in the stern of the Coast Guard cutter McCulloch, which sank on June 13, 1917, after colliding with a civilian steamship.