Lost Ship 'SS Cotopaxi' Found off St. Augustine Coast Jan 28, 2020 13:46:15 GMT -5
Post by JoannaB on Jan 28, 2020 13:46:15 GMT -5
Ship Feared Lost in the Bermuda Triangle Discovered off St. Augustine Coast
On November 29, 1925, the steam-powered vessel SS Cotopaxi (above) left Charleston, S.C., for Havana, Cuba, but the ship, crew and 32 passengers vanished. Now, a group of underwater explorers and maritime archaeologists have located the ill-fated ship approximately 35 nautical miles off the coast of St. Augustine, Fla., and the discovery will be featured in the first episode of Shipwreck Secrets, a new Science Channel series premiering Sunday, February 9, at 8 p.m.
Marine biologist and underwater explorer Michael Barnette contacted British historian Guy Walters to assist in locating the mysterious ship. “Walters combed through ship records at the archives of Lloyd’s of London, the insurance brokers for the SS Cotopaxi,” a Science Channel spokesperson explained. “There he discovered something previously unknown about the SS Cotopaxi’s voyage. The ship had sent out wireless distress signals with a position on December 1st, 1925, two days after it left Charleston.” According to the document, the distress signals were picked up in Jacksonville, Fla., placing the ship in the vicinity of the so-called “Bear Wreck” – found almost 35 years ago – off the coast of St. Augustine.
Armed with the new information and working with diver Al Perkins and experts from the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, researchers realized the Bear Wreck is actually Cotopaxi. “After discussing and evaluating all the available evidence, the team felt confident that the Bear Wreck is indeed the final resting spot of the lost Cotopaxi,” the spokesperson continued.
This information was also shared with Douglas Myers, the grandson of Capt. William J. Myers, Cotopaxi’s skipper, at his home in Long Island, N.Y. “Myers agreed that the team had finally located his grandfather’s ship after being missing for almost 100 years,” the spokesperson said.
The waters off the coast of St. Augustine – a thriving port in Colonial times – are filled with 16th and 17th century shipwrecks. The Bear Wreck, however, stands out from the others in a number of ways. First, it appeared to be from the late 19th or early 20th century, and is located much farther off the coast than most of the older wrecks.
The Bermuda Triangle* has long been a source of fascination. The body of water, infamous as a place where many vessels have sunk, stretches across a western portion of the North Atlantic from Florida to Puerto Rico to Bermuda. The area, also known as the Devil’s Triangle, has claimed in excess of 1,000 lives in the last 100 years. In 2018, scientists in the U.K. noted that a natural “rogue wave” phenomenon could play a part in the Bermuda Triangle’s reputation. Busy maritime traffic in the area has also been cited as a key factor in its history.
Sources: James Rogers, Fox News, January 28, 2020, Aristos Georgiou, Newsweek, January 28, 2020.
*The location where SS Cotopaxi was found is significantly north of the Bermuda Triangle.