Olympic II (San Pedro, CA — 95′ fsw)

History

The Olympic II started life as the Star of France which was a 258′ long, three-mast sailing ship built in 1877 by Harland and Wolff of Belfast, Ireland. I won’t detail the entire history since the CA Wreck Divers site does an excellent job of that. Interestingly enough, just like the Santa Clara ship that I dove a few weeks ago, the ship ended up as part of the Alaska Packers Association fleet. In 1933, the Star of France was bought, renamed to the Olympic II and underwent major modifications to be used as a fishing barge. On Sept 4, 1940 a Japanese freighter Sakito Maru ran into the stationary barge, slicing 23 feet into the hull near the main mast, and it quickly sank taking the lives of eight people. Since the wreck lay in less than 10 fathoms, it was considered a hazard and blown up.

The Olympic II after being converted to a fishing barge

The Wreck

Today, the wreck lies on her starboard side in about 100 feet of water. Most of the hull has collapsed with the exception of the bow and stern area. The wreck is in a high traffic area so divers need to be careful to ascend on the downline. Visibility can vary greatly. I’ve seen photos with 50+ feet of visibility. On the day we dove the wreck, it was probably 20 feet or so. Below are a couple sidescan sonar images of the wreck that were taken 20 years ago so it has changed a bit. The stern area has definitely started to collapse.

Pictures

References

CA Wreck Divers

Bathymetric Research

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s