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19th Century Shipwreck Rediscovered In San Francisco

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The lost shipwreck of a passenger steamer that went down near the Golden Gate in San Francisco has been rediscovered.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), announced the discovery of the remains of the SS City of Chester on Wednesday. NOAA’s Coast Survey Navigational Response Team 6 discovered the wreck last year during a sonar survey of the San Francisco Bay.

The City of Chester was built in 1875 and sank in 1888. Carrying 90 passengers, the ship was steaming away from San Francisco toward Eureka, Calif., on Aug. 22 of that year. The fog that day was dense.

Only a few minutes into the voyage, around 10 a.m., the City of Chester was traveling through the Golden Gate, the entrance to San Francisco Bay that is now spanned by the Golden Gate Bridge. The ship was struck by the Oceanic, another ship arriving at the harbor from Asia.

The City of Chester lasted only six minutes before the ship sunk, according to NOAA. Sixteen people died in the wreck, and the public initially raised a racially charged outcry against the Asian immigrants on the Oceanic. Stories of those passengers’ heroism in saving victims on the City of Chester soon dampened those cries, however.

The wreck’s location in the aftermath of the sinking was no mystery, said James Delgado, the director of maritime heritage for NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. In 1888, the now-defunct U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey dragged a wire behind a tugboat and snagged the hull of what they believed to be the City of Chester. Salvage diver Capt. Robert Whitelaw also claimed to have sent a diver to the shipwreck in 1890. Whitelaw reported that the ship was cut nearly in two by the Oceanic’s blow.

The diver “said there were bodies in the wreck, and it spooked him and he didn’t want to go back,” Delgado told Live Science.

But over the years, the wreck was largely forgotten, except as a footnote as the second-deadliest maritime disaster at the Golden Gate. In May 2013, NOAA’s Coast Survey team was conducting a sonar survey in preparation for the America’s Cup yacht race, Delgado said. He asked the team to venture into the area where the City of Chester might have gone down.

The team was able to find the ship, “zoom in” with sonar and survey it. The survey revealed 202-foot-long (62 meters) City of Chester sitting upright at the edge of a shoal in 216 feet (66 m) of water, “shrouded in mud,” Delgado said.

The hull rises 18 feet (5.5 m) from the ocean floor, and high-resolution sonar even located the gash from the collision on the port side of the ship, NOAA reported.

The discovery highlights the use of science and technology in ocean exploration, Delgado said, adding that he hopes the mission inspires young people to study science.

“Not only are we boldly going and finding new life [in the oceans],” he said, “we’re finding evidence of past civilization.”

There are no plans to raise the wreck, and the strong currents and murkey water at the Golden Gate make diving to the wreck a dangerous proposition, Delgado said. NOAA intends to create an exhibit about the ship at the office of the Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary at Crissy Field in San Francisco and will also work with Google Oceans to put information about the wreck online, Delgado said.

 

Source: www.livescience.com

Gear News

New from Fourth Element: the RF2 free diving wetsuit

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The team at fourth element have introduced their latest freediving wetsuit, the RF2. Streamlined and high-performance, this two piece 6/5/4/mm suit has been developed for freedivers who want to enjoy maximum freedom and ultimate warmth.

Lined outer panels around the core, arms and legs provide durability, a Glideskin across the shoulders and the hood maximises hydrodynamics. This hybrid freediving wetsuit offers cool and cold water freedivers the freedom to explore their limits in comfort.

Director of fourth element, Paul Strike said, “We’ve designed this suit with the consultation of professional freedivers, instructors and with the knowledge of freedive suit specialists. The RF2 brings together fourth element’s knowledge of thermal protection with freediving expertise at the top of the sport to create a high performance recreational suit.”

The suit is both comfortable and practical, being more durable than traditional smoothskin suits whilst retaining excellent stretch and form fitting design. The inner of the suit has a smooth cell Metalite coating; this provides extra warmth retention and is more robust than traditional open cell.

Daan Verhoeven, Freediving Cameraman said, “The RF2 is possibly the best off-the peg suit I’ve ever tried. As soon as I got in the water, I instantly forgot the suit. I was just comfortable and could move without anything pinching or water coming in.”

Features

  • Streamline cut optimising glide
  • 5mm comfort, flexibility and warmth
  • Open cell interior, lined exterior
  • Smoothskin outer hood and shoulders for extra hydrodynamics
  • Beavertail closure
  • Supratex seat panel for extra durability

RF2 Hooded Jacket and Leggings are available in sizes S – XL.

RF2 Hooded Jacket 6/5/4mm RRP: £229.95 GBP / €275.00 EUR

RF2 Leggings 5/4mm RRP: £149.95 / €179.00 EUR

Find out more at www.fourthelement.com

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Marine Life & Conservation

Parineeti Chopra teams up with PADI to create Ocean Change

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PADI® is thrilled to announce an exceptional PADI AmbassaDiver™: Indian actress, singer and PADI Advanced Open Water Diver Parineeti Chopra.

“A PADI AmbassaDiver is someone who is passionate about using their force for good to encourage others to protect our blue planet,” says Kristin Valette Wirth, Chief Brand and Membership Officer. “We could not have found a more respected and authentic partner as Ms. Chopra, a long time ocean lover, to advance our shared mission of saving the ocean. She is unmatched as a shining example of how to protect what you love – and inspire others to do the same.”

Chopra, who has always loved the ocean, experienced the magic beneath the surface in 2013 when she took her first breath underwater in Bali. As soon as she surfaced from that dive, she was hooked – and protecting the ocean became very personal for her, receiving her PADI Open Water Diver certification later that year in Palau. Since then, she has inspired others around the world, from her family and friends to fans in India– to try scuba diving so they can join her in seeking adventure and saving the ocean.

“The first time I came up to the surface after diving, I was crying because it was such a life-changing experience,” says Ms. Chopra. “It is now something I can’t live without. I make sure I do a diving trip every three months despite my work schedule because it is my form of meditation. And it is the place I am immensely passionate about protecting.”

“We are all equal underwater and all speak the same language. Over the years I have seen the changes that have taken place beneath the surface. During my time as a brand ambassador for Tourism Australia, I witnessed the bleaching and damage that has occurred to the Great Barrier Reef.  I was so sad to see this and am now committed to being a diver with a purpose. I have also seen first-hand how marine reserves, like the ones in Sipadan, Malaysia and Palau, prove how valuable marine protected areas are. As a PADI Diver, I want to make sure that our entire blue planet gets the protection it deserves.” continues Ms. Chopra.

With over 67 million social media followers and having recently starred in the Netflix movie The Girl on the Train, Chopra joins an elite group of celebrity influencers determined to take personal action and create real change for healthier oceans. Spending nearly all her free time diving around the world, Chopra shares her love for the ocean with her fans, as diving is an important part of her life that allows her to return to nature and reset. She will work with PADI to encourage others to experience the beautiful world underwater as PADI Divers and join her in helping to achieve balance between humanity and the ocean.

“PADI created the AmbassaDiver programmeme to support extraordinary divers who dedicate their lives to illuminating the path that leads from curiosity, exploration, and discovery to understanding, stewardship and action. Ms. Chopra is playing a very important role in ocean conservation, lighting the way for others to become divers themselves and mobilising communities worldwide to seek adventure and save the ocean with her,” continues Valette Wirth.

Ms. Chopra has big plans for 2022 – including becoming a real-life PADI Mermaid and taking part in citizen science projects during her dive trips around the world. Follow Chopra’s dive adventures, projects and hands-on conservation efforts with PADI on her Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

To learn more about Chopra and the rest of the PADI AmbassaDiver team visit www.padi.com/ambassadivers.

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A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk.

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