Some of the ships that have slid beneath the waves of the Graveyard of the Atlantic are famous. There’s the USS Huron that ran aground in a November 1877 nor’easter just off the Nags Head beach with a loss of 98 crew members. The Metropolis broke up and sank just off the Currituck Banks in January 1878.
The sinking of the Mirlo in 1918 at Chicamacomico led to one of the most famous rescue operations in US Coast Guard history.
But those are the famous ones, and there are probably 90 wrecks or more scattered between Corolla and Ocracoke and according to a recent Virginian Pilot article, Diver Marc Corbett is determined to identify every one he can get to.
Little Known Ships of the Graveyard of the Atlantic
He has already identified the USS State of Georgia, a Civil War gunboat that was instrumental in stopping Confederate blockade runners. The ship was also supported amphibious operations along the coast.
Decommissioned in 1865, she sank off Nags Head during an October hurricane a year later.
Most documentation indicates she sand off Currituck Inlet. However, if Corbett’s information is correct about the Nags Head location, the ship sank off Oregon Inlet instead. That does make more sense since Currituck Inlet had been closed since about 1825.
Corbett has identified other ships as well.
There’s the SS Mountaineer, a wooden hulled steamship that sank off Kitty Hawk in 1852. And there’s the SS Volunteer, an iron-hulled steamer that sank off Kill Devil Hills in 1873.
It’s fascinating search that Corbett has undertaken and we’ll have to see what else he uncovers in his hunt for the maritime history of the Outer Banks.
There are so many untold tales waiting to be discovered on the Outer Banks. Plan your time to explore the wonders of nature and history with Brindley Beach Vacations.