Always Another Shipwreck
by Ellsworth Boyd (View More)
When American film director, producer and screen writer Steven Spielberg used the name of an authentic shipwreck in one of his award winning films, he opened a puzzling can of worms. The three time academy award winner took the name of a real shipwreck: the SS Cotopaxi and made it a focus of interest in his 1977 Sci-fi hit, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” A major subject in the plot, the ship was found in the Gobi Desert abandoned by extraterrestrials.
German U-boats were very successful during WWI, sinking many British merchant ships with 38 submarines at the start of the war, 1914, and 334 by the end of it, 1918. The United States was slow entering the fray, but moved faster when the liner RMS Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk off the Southwest coast of Ireland. Of the 1,195 fatalities, 125 were American citizens. Soon after the disaster, U-boats were sinking American merchant vessels.
Close to 300 passengers and crew, sailing aboard the clipper ship Adriatic in August, 1864, thought their voyage from London, England, to New York City would be a breeze. Little did they know that an untimely encounter with the CSS Tallahassee, a Confederate coastal raider, would bring imprisonment and loss of their ship which carried supplies for the Union cause.
The British were sick of the death and destruction suffered when four of their ships were
sunk by a German U-boat in August, 1944. They had already lost other vessels as Allies
of the United States in WWII, but this was different. They had been hoodwinked by a
When Bob Allen gave a talk before a Long Island, New York, dive club, he began with: “We owe our lives and allegiance to those who fought for and won freedom from tyranny years ago. Lest we forget, there are still reminders of the conflict and our victories over Germany and Japan. One of the memories is sunk right here off our Long Island shore, continually reminding us of her role in WWII.”
Hattie Wells image provided by SeaView Systems