Contemporary Shipwrecks Series

“The value we place on things archaeologically often relates to the story of human society, changes that they helped instigate or their part in an important story from our past.” University of Southampton Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds. 

Typically, under federal standards provided from the National Register of Historic Places, a historic archaeological site is defined as being 50 or more years of age and thus requires evaluation for significance. However, in the realm of shipwrecks maritime history marches ever on, and even in our time of advanced navigation technologies, bad weather and human error (or a combination of both) can lead to catastrophe. An example of this is the sinking of the El Faro in Hurricane Joaquin 1 October 2015, which will be covered later in this blog series. Maritime archaeology does not necessarily mean shipwrecks and prehistoric sites form out more distant past –nor should it, but it also means those from our present as modern shipwrecks still have lessons to teach and provide insight into those of the past. This new blog series is going to cover contemporary shipwrecks and attempt to bring them into a more archaeological locus. When it comes to modern shipwrecks, with few exceptions they are mostly the focus of modern journalism (perhaps because they’re more outfitted to deal with modern tragedy) rather than historians and archaeologists and this blog serves to attempt to rectify that. Outside of those who remember them or have felt the loss caused by these wrecks, modern shipwrecks quickly lose media attention, and therefore the public quickly forgets. Much like other blog series here on JaySea Archaeology, this blog series is not going to cover these wrecks in any particular order. This series is going, to begin with the sinking of the SS Marine Electric sunk 12 February 1983.

The SS Marine Electric 

T2 Tanker Hat Creek an example of a T2 Tanker.US Navy.

The SS Marine Electric started its life as the SS Musgrove Mills T2-SE-A1 Tanker built for the war effort in May of 1944, one of 481 T2 type vessels constructed to carry desperately needed oil across both the Atlantic and Pacific theatres. The Musgrove Mills was built at Sun Shipbuilding and Drydock Company of Chester, Pennsylvania for Standard Oil. Much like many auxiliary vessels built for WWII, T2 tankers had remarkably fast production times, the average was 70 days and the SS Musgrove Mills was no exception. The keel was laid on 10 January 1944 and was launched on 2 May 1944. The fastest T2 tanker ever produced was the SS Huntington Hills which only took 33 days. As constructed the SS Musgrove Mills was 523 feet 6 inches long, 68 feet in beam, and 10,448 Gross Tons. It was powered by a turbo-electric drive which consisted of two Babcock and Wilcox 500 Psi sectional boilers providing steam to a singular Westinghouse steam turbine coupled to an AC generator connected to a propulsion motor to turn the propeller at 7,000 H.P. which gave the vessels a top speed of 16 knots and a range of 12,600 miles. The Musgrove Mills would maintain this propulsion system for the entirety of its career. It was also initially armed with one 3” Gun, one 5” Gun, and eight 20mm guns. Being constructed so late in the war, Musgrove Mills quietly did its duty and was operated by the U.S Maritime Commission until it was sold to Gulf Oil in 1947 where it was renamed the SS Gulfmills where it plied the Atlantic carrying Oil. In 1961 Gulfmills was acquired by Marine Transport Lines and the company had converted the former Gulfmills from an oil tanker to a freighter to carry bulk, dry cargo namely coal. The bow and stern sections were removed completely and welded to a new mid-body section produced by Bremer-Vulcan in Bremer, Germany. This new 387-foot long mid-section was towed to Bethlehem Steel in Boston, Massachusetts where the conversion was being completed. The midship deckhouse was retained and moved back and re-attached on the aft superstructure. A small portion was added to the forecastle deck forward to bring the foredeck flush (or level) with the main deck of the new mid-section. Work was completed in November 1962 where the vessel was named SS Marine Electric. After the conversion, Marine Electric’s dimensions were 605 feet long, and 75 feet in beam and registered at 13,757 Gross Tons. After the conversion, the vessel’s speed changed with a top speed of 12.5 knots. The Marine Electric’s converted mid-body consisted of five cargo holds separated by watertight bulkheads spaced 80 feet apart for holds 2-5 and 67 feet in hold 1. Thus Marine Electric entered the coal trade, transporting coal and sometimes grain up and down the East Coast of the United States. The Marine Electric would also sometime be used to transport grain from the United States to Haifa, Israel.

SS Marine Electric. After its conversion.

The Final Voyage

“A few hours in February on the twelfth day in the year of nineteen eighty-three seemed an eternity.” –Bob Cusick, First Mate SS Marine Electric “Cold Comfort”

On 10 February 1983, the Marine Electric was loading coal in Norfolk, Virginia on what was thought to be a typical journey up to coast to deliver coal to an electric utility at Brayton Point (Somerset), Massachusetts. The voyage was to be a 32-hour trip each way and after it was loaded departed at 11:45pm. At 39 years old, the Marine Electric was showing its age; the five hatch covers were cracked and had holes worn through. The crew would patch the cracks with marine grade epoxy and welded sheets of quarter-inch steel over the cracks. Even after an extensive dry dock period of repair, the ship would never come out improved. Marine Electric’s condition was common amongst the US merchant fleet of the time; many shipping companies were using similar vessels that had been built during WWII.

A winter storm was building when the Marine Electric departed into the Chesapeake Bay it was later described as the worst winter storm in forty years. Winds were blowing from the northwest from 35-55 knots and the seas built from about 4-foot waves in the Chesapeake to 20-40 feet in the open ocean. Marine Electric had weathered worse storms during her career and the crew took solace in the fact that they would never be more than 30 miles away from the coast and a Coast Guard rescue.  The vessel made the mouth of the Chesapeake bay by 0200 and the vessel steamed at 12 knots until 0900 on 11 February 1983 when the ship reduced speed to 5 knots due to the sea and weather. Later that day at about 1600 the crew aboard Marine Electric encountered the fishing boat Theodora, which was also battling heavy seas. It was fairly common to encounter fishing boats on this voyage so the Marine Electric continued on its voyage until they picked up the distress call from Theodora requesting assistance from the Coast Guard. The small fishing boat was taking on water and since they were not equipped with any sort of positioning system, they only knew that they were vaguely 30 miles off of Chincoteague, Virginia. This would make it difficult for the Coast Guard to mount an effective rescue when they did not have Theodora’s exact location. This was in the time prior to the advent of commercially available GPS. Marine Electric was equipped with the position finding equipment of the time, Loran C, Radar, and a gyroscopic compass.

Since they just passed the stricken Theodora they radioed the fishing boat’s position to the Coast Guard. Being that the Marine Electric was the closest ship to the Theodora, the Coast Guard requested that the Marine Electric come about and stand by the Theodora should the worse occur. Theodora was already two miles behind them and the ship had to come about in a force 10 gale in the face of 20-40 foot waves which would expose the sides and stern of the ship. They had to wait until there was a trough between two waves and the captain ordered a quick turn that brought Marine Electric about. The massive waves to the stern made the ship roll more. They quickly returned to the Theodora and stood by constantly reporting their position to the Coast Guard. At 1700 a Coast Guard Helicopter was overhead and dropped extra pumps down to the Theodora. By 1730, the Coast Guard helicopter had already returned to base. After pumping out water, the Theodora could return home. The Coast Guard also dispatched the cutter USCGC Point Highland (WPB-82333) to escort the Theodora to Chincoteague. The Coast Guard requested that the Marine Electric continue to stand by the Theodora until the Point Highland arrived. As night fell, the weather worsened and the Marine Electric had trouble holding position. At 1822, the Marine Electric reported their issues to the Coast Guard, but they were told to continue to hold their position.

“I’m taking a beating and will develop a problem soon.” Captain Phillip Corl, SS Marine Electric

The Theodora reported that he was okay and could make it and the Marine Electric was released by the Coast Guard to continue on its course at 1830. The Marine Electric continued on its course, buffeted by the heavy seas. At about 0000 on 12 February 1983, the watches on Marine Electric noticed that the ship was behaving sluggishly; the bow was not rebounding up out of the waves as it should.

“Our problem is we don’t know what exactly our situation is.” Captain Philip Corl, SS Marine Electric

SS Marine Electric underway

It was hard for the crew to discern if the bow was truly settling in the water or if it was due to how the seas were running. In the darkness and snow, it was hard for them to see the bow of their own ship. The Marine Electric sent its first distress call at 0251 12 February 1983. The winds had shifted and the seas were running down the deck from the bow. The Chief Mate, Robert Cusick had ordered all the crew awakened and mustered to ready the lifeboats. At about 0245 the chief engineer announced he had a good head pressure on No. 1 and No. 2 starboard pumps in the wing ballast tanks. The only way they had to communicate throughout the ship was with handheld radios.  The assistant asked if the chief engineer wanted to gravitate the water from starboard to port and the engineer relayed this to the Captain who simply replied to keep pumping.

The vessel was still able to maintain course within 10 degrees but it took a lot of work. The crew noticed in the darkness that the bow was even further down. They could not tell if any of the deteriorated hatches gave way because of the seas running across the deck. The situation was beginning to grow desperate at 0309 the Marine Electric attempted to contact the two ships they had on their radar with no response. At 0312 the Marine Electric radioed the US Coast Guard reporting that they were continuing to take on water with the bow going down, they requested that the Coast Guard send a chopper with a spotlight to light up the bow so they could get a clear view of the bow. They reported that they thought that the No.1 hatch was stove in.

AT 0317 the tanker SS Tropic Sun radioed to say that he had indeed picked up the Marine Electric’s distress call and were coming about to assist, they were 32 miles to the northeast. The Norwegian freighter Berranger reported they were closer and were attempting to contact the Marine Electric. The crew of the Marine Electric had readied the boats and had gathered all the life rings and stacked them in a pile on the boat deck. They made sure that the EPIRB distress beacon was set upright in its box, so it would float free when the ship sank. After escorting the Theodora to Chincoteague inlet, the USCGC Point Highland immediately turned about and set a course for the Marine Electric.

USCGC Point Highland (WPB-82333)

“I think I’m going to lose my ship here…we are starting a bad list to starboard.” Captain Philip Corl, S.S Marine Electric.

The Point Highland reported that they would be arriving to the scene by 0615, but Captain Corl did not believe that they would last that long. By 0350 the Marine Electric had developed a 5-degree list to starboard and would roll to 14 degrees in the heavy seas. This quickly increased to a 6-degree list with a 20-degree roll. At 0400 the crew had started to swing out the boats and at 0404 the list had increased to 8 degrees. The engines were ordered shut down, due to the increased weight on the bow; the Marine Electric simply could not maintain steerage. At 0410 the list had increased to 10 degrees. The Coast Guard radioed that the copter would be arriving in half an hour and the master responded that they were about to abandon ship, that was the last transmission. At 0414 the list had increased to 15 degrees and roughly a minute later, with most of the crew mustered on deck, the Marine Electric had taken a violent and sudden roll to starboard and capsized launching the assembled crew into the dark, frigid water. All seven of the engineering crew were still inside the ship when it flipped. The ship’s EPIRB never floated free or activated.

The Rescue

At the time the Coast Guard did not have rescue swimmers, when it came to helicopter rescues in situations like this, they had to contract with the Navy to use their specially trained rescue swimmers, therefore Chief Petty Officer Second Class James McCann was the rescue diver brought to the scene. The Coast Guard also assumed that all of the crew had made it to the lifeboats; they didn’t know that there were people in the water. Due to this, the Coast Guard helicopter left with only one rescue swimmer. The first helicopter arrived on the scene at 0530 and a second helicopter arrived moments later.

Winds were still 60 miles an hour the seas were still at 40 feet and it was still pitch black. The water was freezing at 37 degrees and the air temperature was 28 degrees, some of the crew had made it to a life ring, one made it to a life raft and another to the lifeboat, the rest were scattered across the surface of the ocean around the still bobbing hull of the Marine Electric. The rescue diver started the grizzly task of gathering crew out of the water. Eugene F. Kelley Jr. was thrown clear of the ship when it flipped over; he had managed to find a life ring with five other crew hanging on. As time passed, each man would float away from the ring succumbing to hypothermia, until it was just Eugene and Albion Lane also known as “Sparks” the radio operator on the life ring when the Coast Guard Helicopter arrived. Eugene had turned to tell Sparks that the basket was here and Sparks too had floated away. The first mate Robert Cusick had managed to struggle his way into one of the lifeboats in the freezing water. The Norwegian freighter Barranger arrived on the scene at 0630 and attempted to rescue Cusick from his lifeboat, but there was no way to safely get him from the lifeboat aboard the ship, so they radioed the Coast Guard that there was a lifeboat with one survivor aboard and after much difficulty made it into the rescue basket of the Coast Guard Chopper.

The other survivor Paul Dewey made it to a life raft and struggled to pull in other survivors only to have them also succumb to hypothermia mere inches from the raft, he too eventually clamored into the rescue basket. Each of the three survivors picked up by the Coast Guard Helicopter and rushed to a hospital. The rest of the crew succumbed to hypothermia and drowning and the remains of twenty-four of the crew were picked up between the combined search efforts of the Coast Guard Helicopters, the SS Tropic Sun, the USCGC Point Highland (WPB-82333),  the USCGC Cherokee (WMEC-165) and later the USS Jack Williams (FFG-24) and the USS Seattle (AOE-3). The Cherokee recovered the second lifeboat.

“The Sinking of the Marine Electric produced the most important maritime reforms since the sinking of the Titanic.” –Robert Frump, Until The Sea Shall Free Them

The Courtroom

Rear Adm. Edwin J. Roland, district commander, swears in Domenic Calicchio at First District Headquarters in Boston. U.S. Coast Guard.

The inquiry into the sinking of the Marine Electric commenced immediately after the sinking by the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board with Coast Guard Captain Domenic Calicchio presiding. Even still, it took two years to achieve any results. Marine Transport Lines, the ship’s owners immediately set to find a way to blame the sinking on the crew. They first theorized that the Marine Electric had grounded resulting in damage to the hull when it had turned about to come to the rescue of the Theodora. During the Coast Guards investigation, it was found that the average depth of the sea along the vessel’s course even when she came about was about 95 feet; the nearest shallow shoals were over 5 miles away from the ship’s final position.

They also attempted to claim that the vessel’s starboard anchor had come loose during the storm and damaged the ship’s hull by swinging against it. Subsequent dive surveys to the wreck had shown that the bow was indeed damaged however it was most likely due to the bow striking the bottom before the wreck settled. The deteriorated hatch covers were never brought up by Marine Transport Lines. During his investigation, Calicchio discovered that much of the paperwork from various surveys and inspections including those made US Coast Guard and the American Bureau of Shipping whom the Coast Guard had delegated the authority to that supported Marine Transport Lines claims of ship’s seaworthiness had been faked. Some of the inspections were recorded during periods when the Marine Electric was not even in port. Questions were raised about the American Bureau of Shipping about how competent it was in exercising the authority vested in it and if the Coast Guard even could delegate its inspection authority. Since the ABS had a vested interest in producing positive inspections for ship owners it was questioned if they even could be considered impartial.  A representative from the manufacturer of Marine Electric’s hatch covers had warned the owners MTL that the condition of the hatch covers had posed a threat to the ship’s seaworthiness in 1982 but that was ignored and the ship was still pronounced as seaworthy.

It was found in the testimony of the surviving crew that members of the Merchant Marine were instilled with the fear that if they spoke out about the safety or seaworthiness of their ships, they risked losing their jobs, the first mate Bob Cusick had made detailed drawings and constantly reported the deteriorated hatch covers only to be met with inaction. Being the last surviving officer, Bob Cusick and the crew were found no way culpable in the sinking. Calicchio had been pressured by command to not be so thorough in his questioning but he was also motivated by his personal responsibility to do the right thing. He had found the Coast Guard equally culpable in the sinking and raised doubts about the capabilities of Coast Guard inspectors.

The results of his investigation and report were repeatedly stymied by the Marine Board and the Coast Guard until January 1985 when Calicchio had to sacrifice his career in an ultimatum that if the Coast Guard wasn’t going to publish the report and give the commandants actions he was going to take his findings to the media and publish them that way. Due to this, the Coast Guard finally gave its verdict. It was a landmark event in the history of U.S. maritime safety and maritime law because it was the first time that a shipowner, found criminally negligent in the deaths of the 31 members of the crew for allowing a ship to go to sea with defective hatch covers. Marine Transport Lines allowed a ship they knew to be unsafe to sail into an unsafe situation that led to its sinking and the death of the crew. It also led to stricter safety standards for older ships like the Marine Electric and led to the scrapping of over 70 vessels in the two years after the implementation of those standards resulting in a loss of $15 billion for American shipping companies.

The decision also led to the implementation of outfitting seagoing ships with survival suits also known as “Gumby” suits for just this scenario when the crew has to abandon ship into freezing water. Gumby suits had been suggested years earlier but now it was going to be officially implemented. The report also resulted in the Coast Guard commissioning it’s now famous Rescue Diver program which has hence become synonymous with the Coast Guard in 1984 and made their first save in 1987. After being found liable Marine Transport Lines settled with the families of the lost crew out of court for $15 million rather than face criminal proceedings. The criminal charges for operating an unsafe vessel were minimal; a $10,000 fine or $294 per crew member. Captain Domenic Calicchio had sacrificed his career in the Coast Guard to do the right thing and quietly retired in 1985. In light of the sinking, the newspaper The Philadelphia Inquirer assigned two reporters to investigate the sinking and the state of American shipping at the time which brought a spotlight on the case and the unsafe practices of the Merchant Marine to the public. Both of the authors won the George Polk Award for their reporting on the loss. Robert Frump also wrote the book Until The Sea Shall Free Them about the sinking which served and remains the primary source on the Marine Electric tragedy (I couldn’t recommend it more). James D. McCann the rescue diver was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for his heroism in rescuing the survivor’s November 1983. The Coast Guard Inspections & Investigation School named its Calicchio Award after Captain Calicchio for his impact and his honor respect and devotion to duty. Robert Cusick, the whistleblower returned to sea and passed away in 2013. These massive reforms would go on to save countless crews of countless ships including those that will be covered later in this blog. This is little solace to the families who felt the loss of their family members that fateful night of 12 February 1983.

The Shipwreck

SS Marine Electric wreck map. National Transportation Safety Board

The vessel capsized shortly after flipping over at 0415 and the hull remained floating after and was relocated during the search at 0900 and was visible until 1130 on 12 February 1983.  The Marine Electric had finally sunk at 1230 coming to rest in 125-130 feet of water 30 miles off Chincoteague, Virginia. At Latitude 37 degrees, 52 minutes, 47 seconds North and Longitude 74 degrees, 46 minutes West. They had made it 9 miles from coming to the assistance of the Theodora. The ship had twisted and torqued as she had bobbed in the water and the comparatively new mid-section wrenched itself free from the rest of the hull. The wreck came to rest in three pieces settling upside down on the starboard side on a sand bottom. A stubborn strip of hull kept the bow and stern attached to each other and the mid-section had floated away and settled upright with its starboard side torn off roughly a mile away to the southeast of the main body of the wreck. This is most likely to the mid-section remaining buoyant as the bow and stern sections filled with water.

It is theorized based on the damage that the wreck struck the bottom bow first and was dragged and settled sternward. This conclusion was reached after finding debris including hatch covers strewn 50 feet beyond the bow of the wreck. The bow and stern sections are in line with each other roughly 240 feet apart from each other with the bow oriented to the northeast. The cargo of coal was strewn in a straight line between sections. The shipwreck was relocated at 1510, 12 December 1983 by a sonobuoy deployed by the USS Jack Williams. They attempted to listen for the survivors that could still remain trapped inside the hull. They heard no signs of life from possibly trapped engineering crew only the creaks and groans issued by a new shipwreck.

The Coast Guard would later send divers to the wreck to search for the trapped crew on 16 February 1983 but heard none. After the sinking, the subsequent survey was a maritime archaeological survey in everything except name. Marine Transport Lines hired divers and even and used an ROV to take footage of the wreck. The surveys had discovered a crack that ran across the bow from port to starboard 38 feet behind the forefoot of the bow. Most likely this crack resulted from the Marine Electric striking the bottom.  Apparently, at some point, the Marine Electric’s rudder was blown off as a possible hazard to navigation, and the propeller was also removed but lying on the sand nearby.

There was immediate controversy over the wreck as the diver Jeremiah Shastid who was one of the divers hired by MTL was confronted by another dive boat bearing weapons and warning him to leave the wreck site, though nothing came of it. Due to the wreck’s well-publicized location, it has become a popular destination for divers though it is a challenge and geared for more advanced divers due to its depth. Due to the wreck being torn in half it has many opportunities for penetration but even the most advanced divers are challenged due to the amount of damage and being disoriented due to the wreck lying upside down. Artifacts such as portholes, signs, and assorted dinnerware have been recovered by curious divers in the intervening years. Like most shipwrecks, the Marine Electric has become a reef for fish and is popular for divers and fishermen alike for that reason.

Marine Electric Map NOAA
SS Marine Electric location. NOAA.

It is theorized that the hatch cover for dry stores in the forward most section of the bow had failed, allowing water to enter through the hatch thus causing the bow to slowly fill with water. As the bow filled with water, the Marine Electric settled lower into the monstrous seas and as the monstrous seas swept over the deck, water was able to flow into the deteriorated deck and cargo hatches until a cargo hatch failed, which allowed for even more water to fill the ship until the ship capsized. While floating upside down the stricken ship continued to fill with water until the heavier bow struck bottom first with the stern falling behind it which allowed the still buoyant mid-section to rip itself free and float away with the current until it too sank.

Nice Photo.jpg
SS Marine Electric being loaded

“No archaeological assessment was prepared for Marine Electric, this ship is not a historical shipwreck…”  NOAA Screening Level Assessment Package

Conclusion: The Archaeology of the Marine Electric

The story of the Marine Electric, unfortunately, remains a footnote in maritime history aside from the loss of life it caused and the sweeping reforms it made in maritime history. Personally, I had only learned about the wreck in 2015 when it was briefly mentioned during coverage of the sinking of the El Faro in 2015.  This tragedy resulted in countless lives being saved in the ensuing years, but it still came at the expense of 31 lives. Even though the wreck itself isn’t historic as it hasn’t hit the aforementioned 50-year mark, yet I would argue that the wreck is significant because of the sweeping changes it caused. With the seven missing crew that was still in the engineering spaces when the ship flipped the Marine Electric is a gravesite and should be respected as such. This shipwreck should not be seen as a mere footnote in maritime history. The vessel had received official attention in 2013 when NOAA was conducting a survey of potential sites for inclusion into local contingency plans for their potential to pollute the ocean when the wreck degrades too much. Marine Electric was seen as a medium hazard due to the potential for there to fuel to still remain in the tanks, though after the sinking there was a massive oil slick that lasted for a few days. The vessel chronicles the tales of  World War Two era vessels extended beyond their lives and the economic climate that allowed for this shipwreck to happen.  Marine Electric was a working ship doing its job with an equally hard-working crew, they knew the dangers like all sailors do but they did their job. They are memorialized at the Chincoteague Island Waterman’s Memorial.

Waterman's Memorial
Chincoteague Island Watermans Memorial, Chincoteague, Va. Watermans Memorial Facebook Page

The names of the lost crew are listed here and this blog is dedicated to their memory

John Abrams, Utility

Clayton Babineau, Second Mate

Eric Boden, Chief Cook

Stevie Browning, Third Assistant Engineer

Philip Corl, Master

Peter Delatolla, Bosun

Jose Fernandez, Deck Utility

Charles Giddens, Third Assistant Engineer

Malcom Graf, Electricians Mate

Celestino Gomes, Utility

Robert Hern, Ordinary Seamen

Robert Harrel, Ordinary Seamen

Charlie Johnson, Able Seamen

Albion Lane, Radio Officer

Edward Mathews, Able Seamen

Richard Morgan, Wiper

William Mulberry, Electrician’s Mate

John O’ Connel, Ordinary Seamen

Richard Powers, Chief Engineer

Michael Price, Second Engineer

Jose Quinones, Steward

Anthony Quirk, Electrician’s Mate

Richard Roberts

Thomas Reyes, Utility

Raul Ruiz, Wiper

Howard Scott, Second Assistant Engineer

Norman Sevigny, Able Seamen

David Shepard, Utility

Ricardo Torres, Able Seamen

George Wickboldt, Engine Cadet

John Wood, Able Seamen

Sources & Resources

Abell, Barry. Remembering Those Lost at Sea, Drawing for Boat on Saturday helps fund Waterman’s Memorial. Delmarva Now. SS Marine Electric / WOOH SOS

U.S. Coast Guard. Marine Casualty Report for the SS Marine Electric

Braynard, Katie. The Long Blue Line: Domenic Calicchio – Champion of Marine Safety Regulations. Coast Guard Compass Archive

Chincoteague Island Watermans Memorial

Colton, Tim. Sun Shipbuilding. Ship Building History

Combs, Pamela. NAS Oceana SAR Unit Aids in Rescue Attempt. Jet Observer.

Cusick, Bob. “Cold Comfort”

Dalziel, John. Another Type of Hero. The Maritime Executive

Dramtreeo. “Take Your Pay.” A Song About the sinking of the SS Marine Electric

Delgado, James. Nominating Historic Vessels and Shipwrecks to the National Register of Historic Places. National Register Bulletin 20.

Frump, Robert. Until The Sea Shall Free Them: Life, death, and survival in the Merchant Marine. *The most complete source on the sinking, highly recommend

Frump, Robert. Captain Robert M. Cusick, Survivor and Hero of SS Marine Electric, Dies Peacefully in NH, Family Says.

Germanotta, Tony. Whatever happened to…the sailor who survived the Marine Electric Disaster? The Virginian Pilot.

The Hall of Valor Project. James D. McCann.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Screening Level Risk Assessment Package Marine Electric

National Transportation Safety Board. Marine Accident Report: United States Bulk Carrier Marine Electric Capsizing and Sinking about 30 Nautical Miles East of Chincoteague, Virginia February 12, 1983.

National Park Service. How To Apply For the National Register Criteria for Evaluation. National Register Bulletin

Newport News Daily Press. Engineer Cites Hull Problem in Ship Sinking. 19 February 1983

Newport News Daily Press. Atlantic Oil Spill Sighted. 20 February 1983

Newport News Daily Press. Collier in Poor Shape: Mate. 22 March 1983

Newport News Daily Press. Armed Crew May Be Looters. 17 May 1983

Newport News Daily Press. Diver’s Complaint Refueled. 21 May 1983

Newport News Daily Press. Robot Sub Set To Make Dive to Check Ship. 25 May 1983

Newport News Daily Press. Diver Describes Marine Electric Wreckage. 28 July 1983

Newport News Daily Press. 3 Years after Tanker Wreck, Case Against Firm Remains Untried. 16 February 1986

Rousseau, Sarah. SS Marine Electric: Impetus for the Coast Guard’s Premier Rescue Swimmer Program. Coast Guard Journal of Safety & Security at Sea, Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council, Issue 2, Vol. 24.

Southern Maryland Divers. Marine Electric 5.27.12 – Dive Footage of the Marine Electric

Spilman, Rick. Review: Disasters at Sea – Deadly Neglect, the Loss of the Marine Electric. gCaptain.

Spilman, Rick. Remembering the SS Marine Electric -a Tragedy that Made Us All Safer. Old Salt Blog.

Remembering the SS Marine Electric — a Tragedy that Made Us All Safer

Smithsonian Channel. Disasters At Sea: Deadly Neglect.

T2 Tanker. A Brief History of the T2 Tanker

Thayer, Johnathan & Fremont, Jennifer. The Sinking of the SS Marine Electric. The Seamen’s Church Institute.

The New York Times. Crewman Testify About Surviving Ships Sinking. 20 February 1983.

Visser, Auke. Musgrove Mills. Auke Visser’s Famous T-Tankers Pages

Wrecksite. SS Marine Electric.

Zilnicki, Corinne. Marine Electric: The Wreck that Changed the Coast Guard Forever. The Maritime Executive.


SS Marine Electric. Disaster At Sea. Smithsonian Channel.

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