The wreck of the SS President Coolidge
Assisted by Allan Power Dive Tours in Vanuatu; Simon Deane films a tour of this amazing Second World War shipwreck on the Pacific island of Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu.
The SS President Coolidge was once a premiere luxury cruise liner built in 1932.
Later she was converted to a troop carrier and used to transport US troops across the Pacific in the Second World War.
Due to an unfortunate mis-communication she ran aground and sank in Vanuatu.
The orders to abandon ship required a quick evacuation but since the ship was aground the Officers expected to organise a return to collect most personal items and supplies. However the sea had other intentions and the ship slid deeper into the channel soon after the personnel had evacuated. Two lives were lost.
Now it’s an amazing dive site.
Most dives to this wreck start from the shore, the ship rests on her starboard side with the bow the shallowest point, 23 metres deep; the starboard propeller is the deepest point at almost 70 metres.
Since very little was removed from the ship during the evacuation so much remained to be discovered by divers. The ship was also carrying a compete cargo of military supplies, field guns, trucks, jeeps, shells, aircraft parts, rifles, ammunition etc.
Since the 1970′s a number of expeditions were conducted to salvage as much value as possible from the ship. Nonetheless there’s still plenty to discover on this enormous wreck. Not much of the heavy machinery was removed and small items like ships cutlery and crockery, bottles of cola and medical supplies remain. Within the ship is The Lady and the Unicorn now the un-official figurehead and emblem of this ship wreck.
Here you can see the interior of the ship in this wreck diving showreel.
Also see the exterior of the ship in another video tour of this enormous ex-cruise liner and the nearby dive site; ‘Million Dollar Point’, an amazing underwater wrecker’s yard.