The North Carolina
Sunk in Bermuda Waters on Jan 1, 1880
The iron hulled ship was built by English in 1877. The ship was 205 feet long. Sunk on January 1 1880, a large part of the North Carolina's history and the circumstances surrounding her demise are quite sketchy.
It is known that she was leaving from Bermuda to Liverpool loaded with general cargo, including several bails of cotton and bark. She struck a reef near the outside edge of Bermuda's southwest corner and sank 8.5 miles west, 0.5 miles south of Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, while under the command of Captain Alexander Buchan.
An attempt to re-float the vessel was made January 27, 1880. However, the effort met with failure. While attempting to pump the water out of her, her massive anchor broke free, punching a sizable hole through her hull and sending her back to the bottom. When underwater visibility is good, the wreck of the North Carolina can be stunning.
Although conditions often make it tough to photograph, its orientation, sitting upright on a shallow grade next to a reef makes it very impressive. Rising from a depth of 45 feet, the bow's 27 foot profile, with its 16 foot iron bowsprit now heavily overgrown with coral, looks like a ghost emerging from a fog.
Today, more than 50 percent of the North Carolina's midsection has collapsed. In addition to her bowsprit, Bermuda's this famous shipwreck's fantail stern is also quite intact, resting 14 feet below the surface.
Along her length, divers can swim through several areas containing large iron ribs. On a good day, underwater clarity will range from 35 to 55 feet; seldom does it get any better. Although the wreck is still a good distance from shore, its final resting place is well inside the main body of Bermuda's comprehensive barrier reef.
This area is great for Hog Fish, some of which can reach gigantic size. There are often Margate, large schools of Snapper and Porgies. On the surrounding reef system, you can usually find lobsters.
One of the attractions of this wreck location is its proximity to several other historic wrecks. Please bear in mind that the silt on the wreck site is easily stirred up by surge or choppy seas. Therefore, the North Carolina should be dived preferably when the seas are calm.
Check shipwreck map
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