FLORIDA East Coast Shipwrecks Gulfland Wreck Jupiter
Historical and current Florida East Coast Shipwreck Information and images for scuba divers, fisherman and marine historians.




   Capt. Dan Berg's Wreck Valley Collection   

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Shipwreck Diving E-Book  
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The Divers Guide to Shipwrecks around the State of Florida and the Florida Keys. Includes over 240 illustrations comprised of 151 color photos, 83 black and white historical images, 8 dynamic u/w sketches.
                    How to SHIPWRECK DIVING Guide By Capt Dan Berg 



The Gulf Oil tanker GulfLand was built in 1918 by New York S.B. Corporation of Camden, New Jersey. She was owned by Gulf Oil Corporation, was 391 feet long, had a 51 foot beam and displaced 5,277 gross tons. The GulfLand was powered by a 543 nph triple expansion engine.
The GulfLand caught fire after it was rammed by the GulfBelle on October 21, 1943, off Lake Worth Inlet. At the time, she was en route from Beaumont, Texas, to Jacksonville, Florida, with a cargo of aviation gasoline. Both vessels had been running without lights in accordance with the wartime blackout. The bow of the GulfBelle had sliced into the port bow of the GulfLand. The GulfLand and the GulfBelle caught fire as did the water around them. According to seaman first class Joseph O'Brion in an interview with the PALM BEACH POST," I was on watch about 10:50 PM, as we rode northward along the Gulf Stream. Suddenly I spotted another ship bearing down from the north. It appeared to be about 75 yards away. It looked as if it were going to pass us, but as the ship approached, I saw it was going to be close. I turned and started for the telephone to report it to the bridge, shouting as I ran. Before I got to the telephone, there was a crash." "A terrific explosion followed, and I was blown about ten feet across the deck. Regaining my feet, I raced through the flames and jumped overboard off the stern. I swam as fast as I could for awhile until I thought I was safe. Then I stopped to look back. Waves of flame were coming toward me. Burning gasoline covered a wide area. I could hear a lot of screaming and yelling, and I knew a lot of boys were trapped. It was awful !" Out of a total of 116 crewmen on both vessels, only 28 were saved. The GulfLand had a complement of 37 crew and seven Naval Armed Guards; 35 crew, including her captain and deck officers and two navy men were lost. The two burning ships eventually separated. The GulfBelle drifted away and ran aground off Jupiter inlet where her fire was extinguished. She was then towed to port.

As a side note, this was not the first disaster to strike the GulfBelle during 1943. Three months earlier she had been torpedoed by the U-126. The GulfBelle had survived the torpedo attack only to collide with another Gulf Oil tanker.
The GulfLand drifted until she grounded on top of tanker wreck SS Republic, which had been sunk on February 21, 1942, by a torpedo. After a few days, the GulfLand broke free and drifted until she grounded again. She continued to burn for 52 days and was declared a total loss on January 13, 1944. In May of 1944, a salvage company began work on the wreck. A storm came up and broke the wreck in half. The salvagers were only able to tow the GulfLand's stern back to port.

Today the GulfLand's bow section sits in 35 feet of water only a mile or so offshore, with a maximum depth in the wash out of 40 feet. This wreck is often incorrectly referred to as the GulfPride. It is better to dive here on calm days, when there is little surge and water clarity is best. This is one of the best wreck dives in the Ft. Pierce area.

Photo: The Gulf Oil tanker GulfLand. Photo courtesy The Mariners Museum, Newport News, Virginia.

Basic shipwreck information and images for this section of this site was taken with permission from the book Florida Shipwrecks by Daniel Berg. You are invited to submit your shipwreck related articles, images and information. As long as the text, photographs, sketches etc are of professional quality we will showcase them. Full credit will be provide and a same page link to your web site can be arranged.

Florida Shipwrecks ebook
The Divers Guide to Shipwrecks around the State of Florida and the Florida Keys,

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10.2 MB instant download, printable  PDF file

By Dan and Denise Berg, 180 pages. Shipwrecks are an important complement to the natural coral reefs as a sport diving attraction in Florida. From the barley discernable ballast piles of the 1733 fleet to the almost perfectly intact modern ships sunk specifically as artificial reefs throughout the state, shipwrecks inspire an aura of mystery and fascination. Florida Shipwrecks is the most comprehensive, accurate, illustrated collection of information, photographs, sketches and stories ever written about the shipwrecks around the state of Florida. This downloadable ebook contains a wealth of enlightening information that gives the readers a nostalgic glimpse into the history and present condition of over 235 shipwrecks. Florida Shipwrecks includes over 240 illustrations comprised of 151 color photos, 83 black and white historical images, 8 dynamic u/w sketches. Divers , snorkelers, marine historians, armchair sailors or anyone with a general interest in history diving or the sea will surely find this ebook fascinating, as well as indispensable.


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