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Cape Cod Sulphur Salvaged From Canal Cargo

On May 5, 1951, despite all the excellent precautions which are taken by Cape Cod Canal officers to see that ships of all sizes make the transit from Bay to Bay in safety, a serious collision occurred.

In the fog that day two ships crashed, and as a result, one of them, the freighter, Arizona Sword, went to the bottom in shallow water, near the Cape Cod Bay entrance off Sandwich. As she settled, she listed to port (left), and lay in thirty-five feet of water at her stern and sixty-one feet at her bow. The other vessel, the SS Berwindvale, was not seriously damaged.

By midsummer, the Arizona Sword’s cargo of 48,000 tons of sulphur was successfully salvaged by means of a clamshell bucket and piled on the shore. Before this work could be done, the hulk itself had to be braced with wire cables so that it would not capsize and vastly increase the difficulty of removing the sulphur. The hulk was purchased from its former owners for $227,000, and it was expected that in order to remove it, the hull would have to be dynamited and the steel plates removed in pieces.

The official U.S Coast Guard report on the incident is here (pdf)

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 06/01/06
Categories: History
Keywords: cape cod canal, history, maritime, shipwrecks


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