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 The Relief Ship (WAL-505) Shipwreck  New York and New Jersey's Wreck Valley
Historical and current New York and New Jersey Shipwreck Information and images for scuba divers and fisherman.
 

RELIEF SHIP (WAL  505)      

The Relief Ship was built by the New York Shipbuilding Company, Camden, New Jersey, in 1904.  She was 129 feet long by 28.6 feet wide.  She had a displacement of 566 tons and was powered by 600 horsepower diesel engine which was built by General Motors.  The Lightship also carried a 60,000 candle power oscillating light, one of the most powerful lights of its kind in the world.

 On June 24, 1960, the red hulled, white lettered Relief Lightship was on station filling in for the Wal-613 which was in Staten Island for her yearly overhaul. The Wal-505's beacons were flashing and her foghorn was sounding at regular intervals when she was struck on her starboard side amidships by the class C‑2 freighter, Green Bay.  The Captain of the Green Bay, Tom Mazzella, had apparently misinterpreted the location of the Lightship on his radar. The Green Bay, which had been navigating through a thick fog at the time, was not seriously damaged, but the Lightship went down within ten minutes.  All of her crew of nine were rescued without being injured.

 In October of 1976, a group of divers, led by Al Catalfumo, made six trips to the site and recovered one of her 60 foot long, 6000 pound light masts. According to Al, the mast can now be viewed in front of a dive shop in Laurence Harbor, N.J.

 The Lightship now rests upright in 110 feet of water, just east of the Ambrose Tower. She remains relatively intact with the exception of her light masts that were wire dragged down, so as not to cause a hazard to navigation. This three dimensional wreck is excellent for the experienced wreck diver. Visibility is usually good but is also normally dark.  

 

 

Relief Ship WAL-505. Courtesy Dan Berg Wreck Valley Collection.

Porthole from the Relief Ship WAL-505. Courtesy Dan Berg Wreck Valley Collection.

Sketch of the Relief Ship WAL-505. Courtesy Dan Berg Wreck Valley Collection.

Bell recovered from the Relief Ship WAL-505. Courtesy Dan Berg Wreck Valley Collection.

Door lock and keys from the Relief Ship WAL-505. Courtesy Dan Berg Wreck Valley Collection.

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 

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