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SS Arratoon Apcar Shipwreck

Biscayne National Park, Florida USA

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“land ho!”

SS Arratoon Apcar was an iron-hulled steamship built in 1861 for the Apcar Line. She ran ashore on Fowey Rocks off the coast of Florida on 20 February 1878, and later sank. Today the wreck is a good location for scuba diving. SS Arratoon Apcar was en route from Havana, Cuba to Liverpool, England when she ran aground on 17 February 1878 on Fowey Rocks, due to a miscalculation by Captain Pottinger. The reef had already claimed other ships, including HMS Fowey in 1748, after which it was named. Several workmen were camped on a platform on the new screw pilings of the Fowey Light that they were building on the rocks. They were almost hit by the ship, which was stopped by the rocks only 200 yards (180 m) away. The crew of the ship spent three days trying to pump her out before abandoning her and heading for the shore in their lifeboats. The captain and his complete crew of 24 men were picked up by the Tappahannock. Foul weather pushed the ship onto the reef, pounding her on the rocks. The ship broke up and was a total loss by 12 March 1878. The wreck now lies in 10 to 20 feet (3.0 to 6.1 m) of water near the Fowey Rocks. The lower hull and irons beams of the ship are still visible, encrusted with coral, and there are some remains of other parts of the ship. There are many fish, and with shallow water the location provides an excellent site for snorkeling or diving. However, the shallow waters near the reef may create strong surges that could damage a boat. The Arratoon Apcar is one of five historic wrecks in the Biscayne National Park "Shipwreck Trail".

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SS Arratoon Apcar Shipwreck

Biscayne National Park

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