Greater than 153 years after it was misplaced in a violent collision at sea, NOAA and companions have recognized the wreck of the ship Robert J. Walker, a steamer that served within the U.S. Coast Survey, a predecessor company of NOAA. The Walker served a significant position as a survey ship, charting the Gulf Coast within the decade earlier than the Civil Warfare.
The Walker wreck website initially was found within the 1970s by a business fisherman. Resting 85 toes underwater, the vessel’s identification was confirmed in June 2013, as a part of a private-public collaboration that included analysis supplied by New Jersey wreck divers; Joyce Steinmetz, a maritime archaeology pupil at East Carolina College; and retired NOAA Corps Capt. Albert Theberge.
Whereas within the space to conduct hydrographic surveys after Hurricane Sandy for navigation security, NOAA Ship Thomas Jefferson sailed to the wreck website and deployed its multibeam and sidescan sonar programs to seek for the Walker. Utilizing the information from these hydrographic surveys, a NOAA Maritime Heritage dive workforce, on a separate Hurricane Sandy-related mission within the space, was capable of positively establish the Walker. Key clues had been the dimensions and structure of the iron-hulled wreck, and its distinctive engines, rectangular portholes, and the placement of the ship, which was discovered nonetheless pointing towards the Absecon lighthouse, the ultimate vacation spot of a determined crew on a sinking vessel.
Now with the stays of the Walker positively recognized, NOAA’s intent is to not make this wreck a sanctuary or to restrict diving, however to work with New Jersey’s wreck diving neighborhood to raised perceive it and the tales it may possibly inform..