100 Years Later, California Shipwreck Found

The McCulloch is now a skeleton draped with anemones
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2017 11:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – The McCulloch, a US Coast Guard ship that saw action in the Spanish-American War in 1898, sank in just a half-hour after it collided with the SS Governor in heavy fog off the coast of California. It had been put back to work during World War I in 1917, but was no match for the gigantic passenger ship. Now, a century later, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Coast Guard have announced that they found the wreckage 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles during a routine survey, reports the AP. While all on board were rescued that day, the Guard paid homage to the ship and its crew.

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A remotely operated vehicle caught footage of what remains of the ship last fall—mainly a steel skeleton covered with white anemones, reports Live Science. Historic photos helped researchers match the 11-foot bronze propeller and other features. While sea life has eaten away at the ship's hull and decks, a six-pound gun is still mounted at the starboard bow. The ship will likely be left alone, due in part to the US Sunken Military Craft Act of 2004, which prohibits disturbing or moving any part of the vessel. A Coast Guard commander calls the ship "a symbol of hard work and sacrifice of previous generations to serve and protect our nation." (Some believe there's a shipwreck to be found in a California desert.)

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