Skip to content

Shipwreck discovered off North Carolina coast may be World War II freighter


Synthetic Aperture Sonar Data collected over a wreck site off shore of Virginia/North Carolina. Kraken Robotics and ThayerMahan; Inc./NOAA

A mysterious shipwreck has been discovered off the east coast of the US, which experts say may be the remains of a World War II-era cargo ship.

The discovery was made on July 18 during the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) annual technology demonstration.

“This shipwreck was mapped off the coast of Virginia/North Carolina,” NOAA explained in a statement. “It is likely a World War II freighter with evidence of degradation typical of World War II-era freighters.”

“Within the image, one can observe the single propeller shaft, machinery, and boiler spaces,” NOAA added.

Synthetic aperture sonar, a sophisticated underwater imaging technology, was used to make the discovery. NOAA exploration vessel Okeanos Explorer towed a KATFISH system from Kraken Robotics, which mapped the seabed. Maritime technology specialist ThayerMahan also worked with the government agency and Kraken Robotics on the data-intensive project.

MORE