Historic Wreck: Fisherman's Secret Leads to Lost Government Boat

By: | posted on: August 26, 2014

Author: Dan Radel [New Jersey Press Digital]

Last weekend the RJ Walker Expedition, a group of private and government divers, completed the first archeological survey of the Robert J. Walker, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration vessel missing since June 21, 1860.

The Walker collided with the commercial schooner Fanny as it was coming up from Hampton Roads, Virginia to the Brooklyn Navy Yard 12 miles off the Absecon Lighthouse. It sunk a mile and a half from the collision site in 85 feet of water.

If it was not for fishermen, however, the government may have never found its boat. An earnest probe into the collision that killed 20 crew members in the water was never undertaken.

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