Sunken Coast Guard ship stay­ing put

Los Angeles Times - - OBITUARIES - As­so­ci­ated press

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.

NOAA

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.

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