During WWII, near midnight on April 9th, 1942, the Norwegian merchant freighter Benwood was on a routine path from Florida to Virginia, transporting a load of phosphate rock. It was running with no lights to avoid being spotted by German U-boats, which was common for ships throughout the war. But the Benwood wasn’t the only ship in these waters running completely blacked out. The Robert C. Tuttle, an American freighter ship traveling to Texas was also running without lights. The two ships collided and the Tuttle ripped open the Benwood’s starboard side, sending it to the bottom soon after. The ship was deemed unsalvageable, and was later used for target practice by the military. The Benwood was finally deemed a protected site in 1975. This is a wonderful dive for intermediate divers, since it is in relatively shallow water, and can be explored completely in one dive. An abundance of wildlife has overtaken the wreck over the past 70 years.
Type of Ship
Norwegian Merchant Freighter
April 9, 1942
mooring buoy map courtesy of NOAA