New Saturnia (Laguna Beach, CA – 140 fsw)

Tyler and I conducted two dives on the New Saturnia last week.

The wreck was only located relatively recently in 2018 by Endurance Marine. As far as I know, there have been a few divers on the wreck given that the location is not published. Tyler located it by using bathyscape data and some digging and previously dove the wreck once about a month ago to verify the location.

The New Saturnia was a fishing vessel built in Tacoma, Washing in 1936. It was 82 feet long and sank on November 14th, 1955 after a relatively short career. The vessel was full of sardines and was traveling back to San Pedro when it encountered heavy seas and foundered two miles off Laguna Beach and all 11 crew were picked up by another ship and survived.

The Wreck

We had, by all accounts, unbelievable visibility, especially on the first day.

According to Steve Lawson who has conducted a number of dives on the wreck, visibility is “usually 3-5 feet with an occasional 10′ and that they “once had 10-15 feet” and “nearly 40 feet on another rare time.” I would say that the visibility on our first dive was 40+ feet and then probably 30 feet two days later on the second dive.

The ship had a wood hull so that is mostly eroded. However, there are a number of striking characteristics of the wreck. Directly behind the bow area is the engine. It is a large engine with a flywheel and very similar to the “Atlas Engine” I dove a few months ago (you will notice the similarity in the pictures below). Just aft of the engine area are some sections of the wheelhouse.

There are several large tanks around the amidships area (fuel, water, etc?) along with a sink (from the galley?), and a toilet connected to plumbing. Near the stern are some square structures which I’m assuming were holds for the fish. The propeller shaft is also clearly identifiable with a one propeller blade straight up. The mast is also on the ocean floor about amidships.


Since the visibility was so good, I took a LOT of pictures and will include some galleries below of each of the areas that I think are interesting.


Propeller & shaft

Wheelhouse & Fish Storage Containers (?)

Tanks, Toilet, & Fish


Endurance / Steve Lawson article

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