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Alice M. Colburn

Find information on this shipwreck and dive site managed by the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources (BUAR).

BUAR classifies certain shipwrecks and other underwater archaeological resources as "Exempted Sites" for a variety of reasons, including (but not limited to): commonly known location, previous salvage, recreational value, educational value, or lack of significant archaeological or historical value. Recreational diving activities on these sites, including casual artifact collection, do not require a BUAR permit. However, any major disruption of the site is prohibited. The intent of creating an exempted shipwreck site is to preserve such sites for the continued enjoyment of the recreational diving community, who is encouraged to protect these sites for the continued enjoyment of all.

Note: All dives are conducted at your own risk. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts accepts no responsibility for loss of any kind, including personal injury or property damage. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts assumes no liability for inaccuracies in dive information contained in these pages including site locations and dive conditions.

Vessel Details

Description: Schooner, 4 masted.
Dimensions: Length 225.1 ft., breadth 43.3 ft., depth 20.4 ft.
Tonnage: Gross 1,603, other.
Propulsion: Sail.

The Shipwreck

Date Sunk: January 3, 1923.
Cause: Stranded.
Location: Northwest corner of Great Egg Rock, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA
Coordinates:Latitude 42° 33’ 53" N; Longitude 70° 44' 20" W.

On the evening of January 3rd, 1923 an easterly storm battered the North Shore of Massachusetts as the 27 year old schooner Alice M. Colburn labored offshore. Enroute from Portland, Maine to Norfolk Virginia, however the helpless schooner was driven onto Egg Rock, one mile off Coolidge Point, Manchester-by-the-Sea, where it stranded. Whether the schooner was blown in by the gale or ran in seeking shelter is unknown. The crew abandoned ship and was assisted by a nearby Coast Guard station. By January 4th, the vessel was full of water and breaking up.

Dive Site Conditions

The only dive related reference on this wreck comes from Brad Luther's pamphlet entitled "New England Shipwrecks," which was prepared for the Boston Sea Rovers Thirteenth Annual International Underwater Clinic, Saturday April 29, 1967. Luther reports that he had not yet found the main body of wreckage but that a portion had been found between Egg and Little Egg Rock. However, a group of Beverly divers have reportedly located the main hull on the southwest corner of the rock.

Historical Background

Constructed: 1896, at Bath, Maine, by Wm. T. Donnell.
Construction details: Yellow pine, copper and iron-fastened.
Crew: 10; Master: Cap't McLeod (1915).
Owners: Ulen Contracting Corp.
Home or Hailing Port: Home - Boston, MA; Hailing - New York, NY.
Official number: 107211.Country: U.S.A.


The January 10, 1923 issue of The New York Maritime Register reports that after its crew had left the area on January 6th for Boston, wreckers were contracted to strip the vessel.


Encyclopedia of American Shipwrecks, Berman, 1972
Merchant Vessels of the United States, 1922
New England Shipwrecks, Luther, 1967
New York Maritime Register, 1/10/1923
The Record, "American Lloyds," American Bureau of Shipping, 1921

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