Story of the Aleutian
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Team DiveAleutian
 
Frozen in time
 

The sunken ALEUTIAN rests upright on the bottom in 220 feet of water. Depending on the state of tide, the top of the ship’s superstructure rises to within 165 feet of the surface, and the tops of her twin masts are covered to a depth of 110 feet. Significant portions of superstructure—including the bridge, social hall, smoking room, and first class staterooms—are collapsed in a confusing tangle of debris. The lifeboat davits sit empty, the capstans and other deck equipment silent. Giant ling cod and black rockfish guard the staterooms and crew quarters.

Everyday artifacts of shipboard life lie everywhere: portholes, door hardware, light fixtures, and china emblazoned with the Alaska Steamship Company logo. White porcelain sinks from the ALEUTIAN’s staterooms reflect white under the glow of a diver’s powerful light. Iron deck beams and rusting cargo hatch coamings drop away into the inky blackness of unexplored passages. Ghostly white metridium sea anemones blanket the masts, bow and stern of the ship where the powerful tidal currents of Uyak Bay sweep nutrient-rich water in an endless cycle of influx and outflow.

The ALEUTIAN is disintegrating under the unstoppable forces of time and saltwater corrosion, but the ship is remarkably intact and recognizable, considering the violence of her sinking and the decades she has lain underwater. Her resting place is an unforgiving environment that can be visited only by experienced deep-wreck scuba divers with the training and equipment necessary to conduct their dives safely and responsibly.

 

 

Technical scuba diving on the Aleutian beneath Alaska’s pristine waters

The Aleutian struck a submerged rock and sunk in just 7 minutes

Plates, cups, saucers and other artifacts on the S.S. Aleutian

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