Exclusive: Underwater Photos of Beavertail Wreck

This composite image shows the relative position of the wreckage in relationship to the Beavertail Lighthouse, Jamestown Rhode Island. Photos by Mike Laptew

The 32 Blackfin Dream Catcher sank off Beavertail, Rhode Island, on Saturday, June 2, after its crew of 2 apparently made a navigational error during a delivery operation. The crewmembers miraculously made it safely to shore, but the boat was destroyed on the rocks.

Underwater videographer Mike Laptew (laptewproductions.com) dove on the site on Thursday, and filed this report:

What I saw on the bottom at Beavertail.

A view looking up at the decking shows the anchor line, which despite its slippage, proved to be a lifeline allowing the two crew members to make it shore safely.

I was diving on the East Passage side of Beavertail Point, on Conanicut Island when I discovered the wreckage of the Dream Catcher spread across a wide area. I first found the upper decking of the bow suspended about 10’ under the surface, still attached to a long section of anchor line. The pounding of the 10’ to 12’ waves obviously tore the deck off the boat like an old pop-top can tab. I found sections of the keel 100 yards from the bow and twisted railing in yet another area.

This section of bow looked eerie in the turbid water as the stark white gel coat reflected the noontime sun.

The most ominous site was finding the entire transom sitting on the bottom in 15 feet of water. The freshly painted name and artwork clearly spelled out the near tragic disaster that took place here only 5 days ago. This is an area where there is little room for error; steep ledges emerge from the depths and then plateau—the kind of terrain that amplifies the size and strength of waves creating a dangerous rim around the southeast tip of the island.

Naturally, Beavertail is a great place to fish and dive, but respect it and give it a wide berth or you just might join the many other wrecks that litter the bottom.

 

Stay tuned to New England Boating for more reports from Mike Laptew on the incredible things he sees on his many New England dives! In the meantime, check out Mike’s website at Laptewproductions.com to see some of the other projects he’s been involved in and his series of DVDs.

The bottom was littered with the twisted remains of railing and fiberglass.
This section of coastline is a graveyard for boats ranging from schooners to sportfishers.

For a detailed news report on the sinking:

Jamestown Press

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