The America, St. Lawrence River, New York

Pictures by Warren Lo   2007


WRECK INFO:
Ship Type: Steel Drill Barge
Lifespan: Built ???, Sunk June 20, 1932
Length: 92 ft
Depths: 80 ft
Location: Across the shipping channel from Jordstat Castle and Dark Island, St. Lawrence River, New York side
GPS: N44 27.070 W075 49.110

The America, as it is most commonly referred to, was actually named the "American". It was used as a blasting barge to make sure parts of the St. Lawrence River was clear for ships. The wreck site is located just across the shipping channel from Jordstat Castle and Dark Island, just east of Mallorytown Landing. The wreck lies on the US side of the river. Canadian boats going to this wreck must check in with US customs first.

The America came to a sudden end as a result of an accidental explosion in 1932, The ship sank in an overturned position near some shoals, but currently rests in about 75 to 80 feet of water. Care must be given when diving the site. The mooring buoy is in shallower water, but the strong current must be considered when traversing the guideline that runs from the large anchor (which actually wasn't from the America) at the mooring site, which goes over some shoals and down the slope to the wreck. Underneath the wreck lies a heavy layer of oily silt, so care must be taken not to touch or drop down into the silt, lest your gear becomes coated with black oil.

The underside of the wreck can be easily penetrated, with easy access to the outside from both sides. On the wreck itself, the current is very manageable. However, it can be a struggle getting to the bow of the wreck. If you choose, you can then ascend to the top of the wreck (the bottom of the ship since it is overturned) and fly the keel back to the stern. You will see the two large props protuding from the stern. Be sure to grab the line as you reach the stern or you may be in for a ride into the shipping channel.

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All Photos copyright Warren Lo, 2007

 

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