Feb 21, 2019 | Updated: 08:27 AM EST

Spanish-American War Historic Shipwreck Discovered Off Southern California Coast

Jun 14, 2017 06:14 PM EDT


NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard have found the shipwreck of the historic USCGC McCulloch that was sunk in 1917 after colliding with civilian steamship. The ship took part in the historic Battle of Manila Bay in 1898 during Spanish-American War.

The NOAA's U.S. Marine Sanctuaries  and U.S. Coast Guard first located the location of USCGC McCulloch shipwreck in October 2016 during the joint training mission. The remotely operated vehicle (ROV) confirmed the remains of the historic warship at the Point of Conception, also known as the "Cape Horn of the Pacific."

USCGC McCulloch was sunk on June 13, 2017, after it smashed a civilian steamship SS Governor during its morning trip from San Pedro, California to San Fransisco. In a dense fog, the officers on deck Captain John C. Cantwell and Ensign William Mayne heard a fog signal from SS Governor that sailed from opposite direction. After a failed maneuver to avoid the collision, the two ships collided at 7:30 in the morning and USCGC McCulloch sank 35 minutes later.

In the 100 years of the anniversary of USCGC McCulloch sinking to the sea, U.S. Coast Guard announced on Tuesday, June 13 to have discovered the shipwreck and planned to leave the ship in its location, as reported by the Washington Times. The strong current and thick sediment after 100 years under the sea would make the effort to move the ship a difficult task.

USCGC McCulloch was constructed in 1896 as the largest cutter vessel at that time and commissioned into Revenue Cutter Service in December 1897. A year later, in 1898, USCGC McCulloch joined the American Asiatic Squadron under Commodore George Dewey in a Spanish-American War.

The ship took part in the Battle of Manila Bay, in Philippine on May 1, 1898. The outcome of the battle gave a decisive victory to the U.S, as the American Navy destroyed the Spanish Navy in the Pacific, marking the end of Spanish colonial period in the Philippine. After the war, USCGC McCulloch returned as the patrol duty in the U.S. West Coast since 1899 before the incident on June 13, 1917.

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