Historic Coast Guard Shipwreck Found Off Southern California Coast

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Researchers discovered the remains of a San Francisco-based U.S. Coast Guard cutter that first set out to sea during the Spanish American War and sank off the coast of Southern California 100 years ago, officials announced.

On Tuesday, officials will host a news conference to highlight the ship’s history and to pay tribute to the ship and its crews — including two crewmen who died in the line of duty.

Researchers with the Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will also tell the story of the joint underwater exploration that led to the shipwreck’s discovery.

The USCGC McCulloch began its career as part of Commodore George Dewey’s Asiatic Squadron in the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish American War.

Cutters based in San Francisco in the late 1800s and early 1900s represented American interests throughout the Pacific. They also played important roles in the development of the western United States.

After the war, the cutter patrolled the West Coast and later was dispatched to enforce fur seal regulations in the Pribilof Islands off the coast of Alaska, where it also served as a floating courtroom in remote areas.

The USCGC McCulloch sank on June 13, 1917, 3 miles (5 kilometers) northwest of Point Conception, California, after colliding with a civilian steamship. One crewman, Acting Water Tender John Arvid Johansson, lost his life but all other hands were saved.

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