Mars

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, iron.
Dimensions: length 117.25 ft., width 23 ft., depth 15.3 ft.
Tonnage: gross 278, other.
Propulsion: steam, propeller.
Machinery: 750 indicated horse power, 2 cylinder compound steam engine with cylinder diameters of 22 inches, 40 inches and a stroke of 28 inches; 1 single ended Scotch Boiler, Coal fired.
Cargo: Not Applicable.

The Shipwreck

Date Sunk: September 13, 1942.
Cause: collision.
Location: East of Manomet Point.
Coordinates: latitude 41° 56' 16" N; longitude 70° 29' 33" W.
Loran: 13956.8 and 44093.5.

Shipwrecks of the Second World War are very difficult to write about. More often than not, their sinking was censored from local press coverage to avoid alarming the general public of possible enemy action so close to home.

Limited information indicates that the Mars sank in collision with the coastal tanker Bidwell. The tanker sheared off the tug's bow and it quickly went down in 120 feet of water.

Dive Site Conditions

Depth in feet: maximum 125, minimum 95.
Visibility in feet:

Except for the top of the wheelhouse, the tug lies upright and intact on a hard clay bottom. The pilothouse can be found on the bottom to starboard of the wreck.

Historical Background

Constructed: in 1890, in Camden, New Jersey by builder J.H. Dialogue & Sons.
Construction details: 1 deck.
Owners: Martin Marine Transportation Co., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Home or Hailing Port: Wilmington, Delaware.
Official number: 92153. Country: U.S.A.
Other Comments: Built to haul coal laden barges, the vessel was sold to a Philadelphia Company in 1920 and then again in 1936 to a Wilmington, Delaware, Company.

Sources

Encyclopedia of American Shipwrecks; Berman, 1972
Non-Submarine Contacts; H.O.Pub.120 Vol.II, 1968
The Fisherman, magazine; August 17, 1989/April 25, 1991
The Record, "American Lloyds," American Bureau of Shipping; 1943
WestWind Explorer; MetroWest Dive Club, October/1990, August/1991
Wrecks Below; Luther, 1958

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