ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP) - Scientists have found the wreckage of a cargo steamship that became associated with the Bermuda Triangle when it disappeared in 1925 off the Atlantic Coast of Florida.
The SS Cotopaxi was sailing from Charleston, South Carolina, to Havana when it disappeared along with its 32-person crew. But a team of underwater explorers and maritime archaeologists have identified the wreckage of the ship about 35 nautical miles off the coast of St. Augustine. Their findings will be featured in the premiere episode of a Science Channel series, "Shipwreck Secrets," on Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. EST.
In a statement, the Science Channel explained that marine biologist and underwater explorer Michael Barnette contacted British historian Guy Walters to help find the mysterious ship.
“Walters combed through ship records at the archives of Lloyd’s of London, who were the insurance brokers for the SS Cotopaxi,” the Science Channel explained. “There he discovered something previously unknown about the SS Cotopaxi’s voyage. The ship had sent out wireless distress signals with a position on December 1st, 1925, two days after it left Charleston.”
A shipwreck known locally as the Bear Wreck, which was found almost 35 years ago, is in that location. Armed with the new information, however, and working with diver Al Perkins and experts from the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum, researchers realized that the Bear Wreck is actually the Cotopaxi.
The Bermuda Triangle has long been a source of fascination. The body of water, infamous as a place where many vessels have sunk, stretches across a western part of the North Atlantic between Florida, Puerto Rico and Bermuda.