Lackawanna

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: tug, steel.
Dimensions: length 137.1 ft., width 25 ft., depth 14.7 ft.
Tonnage: gross 340, other.
Propulsion: steam, propeller.
Machinery: (1) Triple expansion 3 cylinder engine, cylinder diameters 17", 24", 41" with a stroke of 30", nominal horsepower 92, manufactured by J.H. Dialogue & Son.
Cargo: Not Applicable.

The Shipwreck

Date Sunk: August 15, 1915.
Cause: collision.
Location: Nantucket Sound, Southwest of Handkerchief Shoal.
Coordinates: latitude 41° 28.2' N; longitude 70° 08.1' W.

Late in the evening of August 15th, the tug Lackawanna was towing three barges from New York to Portland, Maine. While proceeding up Nantucket Sound toward Pollack Rip Channel, it met the tug Triton with the barge Nanticoke in tow. The tugs cleared one another, but for some reason Nanticoke swung out and collided with the eastbound vessel. Whether it was the result of wind or current cannot be said, but the barge tore open Lackawanna's side. Mortally wounded, the tug sank within minutes carrying two of its crewmen to their deaths. Lackawanna's barges were anchored and later towed to Portland by the Triton.

Dive Site Conditions

Depth in feet: maximum 50, minimum 20.
Visibility in feet: average.

The vessel's remains are scattered on a sandy bottom. Its bow lies in 20 feet of water while its stern is at approximately 50 ft.

Historical Background

Constructed: in 1900, at Camden, New Jersey by J.H. Dialogue & Son.
Construction details: steel; 1 deck.
Crew: 16; Master: B.W. Lewis (1903-04).
Owners: Delaware, Lackawanna & Western R.R. Co.
Home or Hailing Port: New York, N.Y.
Official number: 141675. Country: U.S.A.
Other Comments: 1903-04 Lloyds Register of shipping lists the vessel as a steam schooner, however a photograph of the vessel, in the May 17, 1990, The Fishermen magazine, clearly shows the vessel to be a tug, although it has two masts.

Salvage

T.A. Scott Wrecking Company, New London, Connecticut surveyed the wreck but determined it could not be salvaged. Abandoned to the U.S. Government, the wreck was cleared by dynamite in May 1916.

Sources

Lloyds Register of Shipping; 1903-04
Merchant Vessels of the United States; 1901
Merchant Vessels of the United States, Vessels Lost Chapter; 1916
The Fisherman, magazine; May 17, 1990

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