Chesapeake Bay Shipwrecks

William B. Cogar,

Chesapeake Bay Shipwrecks
 
 
North America's largest estuary, the Chesapeake Bay, is fed by more than 150 major rivers and streams from parts of six states and the District of Columbia. Two hundred miles long, with a shoreline that includes more than 11,500 miles of tributaries, the bay has been a major economic lifeline since pre-Columbian times. As such, it is not surprising that the bay has seen its share of shipwrecks over the centuries--from small and large vessels foundering in storms, like the Levin J. Marvel, to naval and merchant ships of all sizes lost to collisions, fires, and wars, such as the US Coast Guard cutter Cuyahoga. The actual number of shipwrecks will never be known, but at least 3,000 in the bay and its tributaries have been documented--either in archives or newspapers or through underwater archaeology. While some wrecks saw great loss of life, others fortunately did not.


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