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New monument of underwater Florida

After 6 years of conservation and research work, archaeologists in Florida can present a shipwreck from the Civil War era. The remains of the USS Narcissus, lying in the local waters, are the twelfth underwater monument in Florida. The ship was built in Albany, in 1863, commissioned by the US Navy, as a fighting ship
Published: February 8, 2012 - 17:45
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 06:17
New monument of underwater Florida

ussnarcissus02

After 6 years of conservation and research work, archaeologists in Florida can present a shipwreck from the Civil War era. The remains of the USS Narcissus, lying in the local waters, are the twelfth underwater monument in Florida.

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The ship was built in Albany, in 1863, commissioned by the US Navy, as a fighting ship armed with 20-pounder threaded barrel cannons of the Parrot type and one 12-pounder smoothbore cannon. This vessel, participated in the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War, where she avoided contact with the “damn torpedoes”, as Admiral David Farragut called them.


In 1866, Narcissus was withdrawn from combat and left the Gulf of Mexico for the East Coast, where she was to become a regular tug carrying large ships. This never came to pass. In the Tampa Bay area, a fierce storm hit, drawing danger to two US Navy ships. One of them was the USS Narcissus, which sank northwest of Egmont Key shoal. The immediate cause of the incident, was a boiler explosion. None of the crew survived.


The wreck was first spotted in 1990, at a depth of 5m, when most of it was under a large layer of sand. The site was tracked down with two archaeologists by Mike Terrell, a dive training co-ordinator who only dived the site himself in 2006.


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The remains of the ship, are being secured by the Florida Department of State, the Florida Aquarium and the Navy, which still claims ownership of the vessel This is a mark of appreciation, both for the ship and its crew.


Technically it’s still a war grave because all the crew were on the ship when it sank,” Terrell says.


The Navy also requested that the facility be observed and any changes related to its condition reported to the command.


Information about the wreck will be posted on the state website and on special information and education prints, the cost of which will initially be paid for by the state and then by the non-profit organisation, Friends of the Narcissus.


In addition, divers will still be able to see elements of the wreck such as the steam engines, the drive shaft, the propeller, the remains of the wooden plating of the tugboat or fragments of the boiler that exploded.


Only local residents have doubts about the idea, fearing that the publicity could draw thieves to the area to steal parts of the ship, but Terrell reassures, saying this is unlikely.


Source: podwodna.net


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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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