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U.S. Navy Tugboat Discovered Off San Francisco

Thursday, March 24, 2016

conestoga sonar image SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA—The USS Conestoga, a U.S. Navy tugboat, has been discovered in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, 95 years after it sank with 56 officers and sailors aboard, according to an announcement from NOAA and the U.S. Navy. "After nearly a century of ambiguity and a profound sense of loss, the Conestoga's disappearance no longer is a mystery," said Manson Brown, assistant secretary of commerce for environmental observation and prediction and deputy NOAA administrator. The boat departed the Golden Gate on March 25, 1921, en route to American Samoa via Hawaii. When it failed to reach Pearl Harbor, a large-scale search was mounted in its vicinity. Later, when one of its lifeboats was found off the coast of Mexico, a search was undertaken there as well. In 2009, a likely shipwreck was identified several miles off Southeast Farallon Island under 189 feet of water, and in October 2015, it was confirmed to be the Conestoga. When the ship set out, it faced increasing wind speeds and high waves. Based on the location and orientation of the wreck, it appears that the crew was attempting to take shelter in a protected cove when it sank. For more, go to “History's 10 Greatest Wrecks..."

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