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Graveyard of the Atlantic | Video | Dive Slates | Site Plans
Civil War Ships | German U-Boats | Merchant Ships | Allied Ships

Graveyard of the Atlantic

The Outer Banks is one of the most unique places in the world, containing some of the most dramatic barrier islands and most dangerous shoals and currents on earth. The area is often referred to as the Graveyard of the Atlantic because these waters have entombed thousands of vessels and countless mariners who lost a desperate struggle against the forces of war, piracy and nature. The rich maritime heritage of coastal North Carolina runs deep with a vast array of shipwrecks dating back to before European contact, to Colonial time, to the Civil War and both World Wars. Today, you can view some of these wrecks from shore or by snorkeling, and the area is great for scuba diving.

Since 2008, NOAA and its partners have worked to document World War I and World War II shipwrecks in North Carolina waters. The focus of most expeditions has been on the shipwrecks of World War II's Battle of the Atlantic. The Battle of the Atlantic was one of the longest and most decisive campaigns of World War II and the Outer Banks is where the war came home to continental U.S.

Below are some of the various shipwrecks NOAA and its partners have surveyed. Enjoy exploring each by clicking on the link. And check back often as new ships are added.

Click here to request more information on these shipwrecks or future maritime heritage projects.

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Video: "WWI and WWII off the Coast of North Carolina"

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Dive Slates

Dive slate for the U-85

Dive slates include the wreck's location, historic vessel information, a site plan identifying the wreck's construction features and the marine life most commonly seen at the site. To view the current dive slates, visit the Dive Slates web page.

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Site Plans

site plan for the U-352

Site plans are archaeological drawings created from data collected during an expedition to a shipwreck site. To view the current site plans, visit the Site Plans web page.

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Shipwrecks

Civil War Ships

officers on deck of uss Monitor USS Monitor

The Union's first Civil War ironclad lost in a gale on December 31, 1862.

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German U-Boats

diagrams of U-85 U-85

German U-boat sunk by USS Roper on April 14, 1942.

 U-352 U-352

German U-boat sunk by USS Icarus on May 9, 1942.

sonar image of the U-576 U-576

German U-boat sunk on July 15, 1942, and discovered by NOAA in 2014.

U-701 U-701

German U-boat sunk by Lt. Kane, U.S. Army Bomb. Sqdn. on July 7, 1942.

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Merchant Ships

photo of the Allan Jackson tanker Allan Jackson

1921 tanker sunk by U-66 on January 18, 1942.

photo of the Ario tanker Ario

1920 tanker sunk by U-158 on March 15, 1942.

photo of the Ashkhabad Ashkhabad

1917 tanker sunk by U-402 on April 30, 1942.

photo of the atlas Atlas

1916 tanker sunk by U-552 on April 9, 1942.

photo of the australia Australia

1928 tanker sunk by U-332 on March 16, 1942.

photo of Bluefields Bluefields

1917 cargo ship owned by Nicaragua and sunk by U-576 on July 15, 1942.

photo of the British Splendour British Splendour

1931 tanker sunk by U-552 on April 7, 1942.

photo of the Buarque tanker Buarque

1919 freighter sunk by U-432 on February 15, 1942.

photo of Byron D. Benson Byron D. Benson

1922 tanker sunk by U-552 on April 5, 1942.

photo of Caribsea Caribsea

1919 freighter sunk by U-158 on March 11, 1942.

photo of Carl Gerhard Carl Gerhard

1923 freighter owned by a Swedish Company that ran aground and sunk on September 23, 1929.

photo of City of Atlanta City of Atlanta

1905 steam merchant ship sunk by U-123 on January 19, 1942.

photo of Dixie Arrow Dixie Arrow

1921 oil tanker sunk by U-71 on March 26, 1942.

photo of EM Clark E.M. Clark

1921 oil tanker sunk by U-124 on March 18, 1942.

photo of Empire Gem Empire Gem

1941 oil tanker sunk by U-66 on January 24, 1942.

photo of Esso Nashville Esso Nashville

1940 tanker sunk by U-124 on March 21, 1942.

photo of FW Abrams F.W. Abrams

1920 oil tanker sunk by a mine on June 15, 1942.

photo of Kyzikes Kyzikes

1900 oil tanker lost on December 1, 1927, during a heavy gale and used for target practice in 1929 by U.S. Army.

photo of Kassandra Louloudis Kassandra Louloudis

1918 steam merchant ship sunk by U-124 on March 18, 1942.

photo of Lancing Lancing

1897 cargo ship sunk by U-552 on April 7, 1942.

photo of Liberator Liberator

1918 cargo ship sunk by U-332 on March 19, 1942.

photo of Malchace Malchace

1920 cargo ship sunk by U-160 on April 9, 1942.

photo of Manuela Manuela

1934 freighter sunk by U-404 on June 25, 1942.

photo of Marore Marore

1922 freighter sunk by U-432 on February 27, 1942.

photo of Naeco Naeco

1918 tanker sunk by U-124 on March 23, 1942.

photo of Norvana Norvana

1920 freighter sunk by U-66 or U-123 on January 22, 1942.

photo of Panam Panam

1925 tanker sunk by U-129 on May 4, 1943.

photo of Papoose Papoose

1921 tanker sunk by U-124 on March 19, 1942.

photo of San Delfino San Delfino

1938 tanker sunk by U-203 on April 9, 1942.

photo of Suloide Suloide

1920 cargo ship sunk due to collision on March 26, 1943.

photo of Tamaulipas Tamaulipas

1919 tanker sunk by U-552 on April 10, 1942.

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Allied Ships

photo of HMS Senateur Duhamel HMS Senateur Duhamel

Converted 1927 French fishing trawler sunk in a colllision with USS Semmes on May 6, 1942.

photo of HMT Bedfordshire HMT Bedfordshire

Converted 1935 British fishing trawler sunk by U-558 on May 12, 1942.

photo of LV-71 Diamond Shoals Lightship Diamond Shoals Lightship LV-71

Lightship sunk by U-140 on August 6, 1918, during World War I.

photo of Navy tug Keshena Keshena

U.S. Navy Tug Keshena sunk by a mine on
July 19, 1942.

photo of YP-389 as fishing trawler Cohassett YP-389

U.S. Navy Yard Patrol boat YP-389 sunk by
U-701 on June 19, 1942.


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