Built in 1902 in Copenhagen by Burmeister & Wain and initially chartered to the United Fruit Company, the steel-hulled cargo steamer, the Taunton, sailed under the Norwegian flag and featured a powerful triple-expansion steam engine. She was carrying a cargo of coal from Norfolk, Virginia to St. George, Bermuda, when she encountered a misty fog at the entrance to the island’s northern passage through the reefs. The captain posted a lookout, but the Taunton fell victim to Bermuda’s northern reefs on November 24, 1920, after running aground on the North East Breaker reef.
Today the ship lies in an average of 20 feet of water, with her bow, steam engine and boilers still visible and upright on the northeast reef. The photogenic wreck is a popular shallow-water dive site, in part because her bow comes within 10 feet of the surface. The ship’s bell was salvaged by Teddy Tucker and later used as a prop in the movie, “The Deep”. Today visitors can see the bell at the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Museum. The Taunton is part of the Bermuda Shipwreck Certificate Program.
Location: 32°28'58.91"N, 64°42'17.64"W Length: 228 feet (69.5 meters) Capacity: 75,000 cubic feet (2124 cubic meters) Tonnage: 1,329 tons Maximum Depth: 40 feet (12.2 meters) Protected Area Radius - No Fishing: 300m