Wreck of the Empire Knight, Maine

Please note the sidescan image seen above is of the Empire Knight’s STERN section which is outside recreational limits and resides in a Permanent Safety Zone.

Site Depths: 20-120ft

Site Overview:

The Empire Knight is a British freighter that ran aground Boon Island in 1944…just two years after she was built by William Doxford & Sons, Ltd., in Sunderland, England. She was headed for New York after departing New Brunswick, Canada when she met her untimely end on February 11, 1944. After being bashed on the rocks, she broke in two with her stern section drifting 1.5 miles offshore before sinking to depths of 260′. She measured 428ft long, was 56ft at her widest, and had a depth of 35ft. The area around the stern section of the Empire Knight is listed as a Permanent Safety Zone by the U.S. Coast Guard due to her hazardous cargo of mercury. Please be respectful, as with most of our local wrecks, the Empire Knight was lost with 24 souls and is a gravesite.

Site Specifics:

Her bow is located within recreational depths on a ledge between 20’ and 120’. This section of the Empire Knight is located a short distance from the Boon Island which draws a colony of seals. Though she was not sunk via war activities, the Empire Knight was carrying war supplies; divers can still find ammunition on the bottom – please do not disturb them. You can also find old beer bottles and mechanical parts.

The bow section is mostly broken up and strewn about, but you can find hull plates, anchors, locomotives, and vehicle parts along the seafloor.

You will find many of the same cast of characters seen in the waters surrounding Massachusetts and Maine waters. From colorful tunicates to drab crabs, you’ll find plenty to look at in the water around the wreckage. If you’re lucky, you might even spy one of our local wolffish!


This site is only accessible by boat and should only be attempted by captain and crew that are familiar with the area. Assess the site before jumping into the water to observe what the conditions are like.

Corey A. Leamy 3/5/21 | CAL edited 3/8/21