Wreck of the Patriot, Stellwagen Bank


Site Overview:

The F/V Patriot is a popular spot for New England divers. In terms of age, it is both a relatively young vessel and wreck; built in 1997, she was originally outfitted as a shrimper, but was later modified to become a dragger. Though its demise is officially attributed to vessel instability, no one truly knows why it capsized in January 2009. The US Coast Guard employed the latest acoustic technologies to try and decipher what happened that night, but the details may forever remain a mystery. Both her crewmen lost their lives, remember to be respectful as you visit this site and not disturb the wreck.

The F/V Patriot sits in roughly 100ft of seawater and is surrounded by a beautiful sandy bottom. In the decade that she has been entombed, the vessel has turned into a thriving artificial reef attracting aquatic creatures big and small.  At just shy of 70ft in length, she is an easy wreck to navigate and explore without feeling like you missed half the boat. However, what she will do is entice you back for more.

Site Specifics:

The F/V Patriot lies offshore Massachusetts within the boundaries of Stellwagen Bank. Many of the local charters host dives, but due to its distance from shore, it is usually a two-tank dive (you’ll still be wishing for more). However, due to its exposed location, scheduling the wreck can be tricky – as most New England divers can understand – weather and current patterns must be taken into account.

She currently lies on her starboard side, with the name Patriot can be seen in bold jersey style lettering. Much like the Chester Poling, it is easy to envision what she must have looked like on the surface. Nets still cling to her sides and fish totes can be seen within her infrastructure.

You’ll find Colonial Hydroids, crabs, schools of Cod or Pollock, Sea Ravens, Goosefish, sea stars, and if you’re very lucky you might even spy a whale! Mid-2010s, one group of local divers was lucky enough to have incredible visibility AND a Humpback Whale visit while they were underwater. When SECONN visited in September of 2019 during their transit and surface interval, they saw an Atlantic Sunfish, a Blue Shark, a Humpback Whale and multiple Minke Whales. Plenty to see both big and small!

Restrictions:

As mentioned above, this site is only accessible by boat. Check out your local charters to see who might be visiting in the near future!