Fishers Island Sound wreck still maritime mystery

A pewter mirror is shown at the site of a shipwreck in Fishers Island Sound. Divers are trying to determine the identity of the 70-foot vessel 
Photo Mark Munro

By Joe Wojtas - The Day

In the summer of 2007, Mark Munro of Griswold and a group of fellow wreck divers discovered a 70-foot intact shipwreck in Fishers Island Sound.

While its wooden timbers had rotted, they found a diesel engine, ship's wheel and two bells and personal items such as a pocket watch, pewter mirror and tea cups.

Despite five years of historical research and reaching out to local historical groups and experts, the identity of the ship is still a mystery to Munro, who believes it sank in the Hurricane of 1938.

He is now asking the public for help, thinking someone may have heard about the wreck or knows something about the ship, which is thought to have been involved in the menhaden fishery or been converted to a yacht.

"We've had a lot of leads, but none of them have panned out," he said Monday. "It's interesting because it's right in the middle of Fishers Island Sound where there's always been lot of traffic, but no one knows about it."

He said the wreck, which is in the deepest part of the sound at 75 feet, had a forward bridge with a searchlight, an open section in the middle which led to the fish hold and a rear structure that housed the crew quarters. That's where artifacts such as plates, cups and a watch were found, as well as portholes.

Munro's road to discovering the wreck began in 2005 when he began scouring a 1995 government sonar survey of Long Island Sound for possible wreck sites.

Then in 2007, using his own high-resolution side scan sonar system, he and his fellow explorers from locally based Baccala Wreck Divers found three wrecks in Fishers Island Sound and dove on them. One was a part of a barge, the second a scuttled 40-foot houseboat. Neither interested the wreck hunters.

The third target, which was covered in silt, is the wreck Munro is now trying to identify. Because it was the third and most interesting one the group explored, the divers now refer to it as "Three's a Charm."

Munro has so far been unable to track the equipment and artifacts on the wreck back to a specific boat, in some cases because the manufacturers are no longer in business.

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