USCG Documents Historic Shipwreck

Efforts to record the shipwreck of historic U.S. Coast Guard Cutter McCulloch and the area surrounding it continued earlier this month with USCG crews that headed to the site to survey the damage.

On June 13, 1917, the McCulloch collided with the passenger steamship SS Governor. The wreckage is still within waters of the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, according to the agency.

Cutter Blackfin crew members brought the Regional Dive Locker West and Maritime Safety and Security Team Los Angeles/Long Beach to the shipwreck area where remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, were used in depths greater than 200 feet to more closely look at the sunken vessel and surrounding area.

McCulloch had a remarkable career as both a U.S. Revenue Cutter Service vessel and U.S. Coast Guard cutter,” said Coast Guard Daniel Koski-Karell, who with fellow historian Scott Price and the chief scientist for the mission, NOAA maritime archaeologist Robert Schwemmer, partnered to submit the Cutter McCulloch’s nomination into the National Register of Historic Places.

“Its participation in the Spanish-American War’s 1898 Battle of Manila Bay victory is memorialized by the trophy cannon the McCulloch brought to the U.S. that stands today in front of the Coast Guard Academy’s Hamilton Hall,” Koski-Karell remarked.

On April 22, the shipwreck was officially listed in the National Register as a site of “national significance.”

“The listing to the National Register of Historic Places, as well as California’s Register of Historical Resources, demonstrates the spirit of cooperation between NOAA and the Coast Guard, enhances public awareness of McCulloch’s important role in America’s history, while honoring its crew,” said Schwemmer, who’s the West Coast regional maritime heritage coordinator for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.

It has been nearly five years since NOAA and USCG members confirmed the shipwreck site during an October 2016 training mission.

By Pacific Maritime