WWII Ship Located In
Nearly 70 years after a German submarine sank a World War II Navy patrol boat
off Cape Hatteras, a NOAA-led research
mission has located and identified the
wreck of YP-389. Though the name hardly
lends itself to heroic legend, nonetheless
the patrol boat has its own tragic history.
Six sailors died in the attack by U-701 20
miles off the coast on June 19, 1942, and
18 survived. The wreck now sits in 300 feet
of water in an area known as the “Graveyard
of the Atlantic” due to the numbers of U.S.
and British naval vessels, German U-boats,
and merchant ships that sank there during
the Battle of the Atlantic.
Originally built as the fishing trawler
Cohasset, the Navy converted the vessel
into a patrol craft and put it into service
as YP-389 after the Japanese attack on Pearl
Harbor. Though equipped with a three-inch deck gun to protect it from enemy aircraft and surfaced submarines, when U-701
attacked, the deck gun wasn’t working and
the YP-389 could only return fire with its
two 30-caliber machine guns. Today, the
relatively intact wreck sits upright on its
keel and is now home to a
variety of marine life. Much
of the outer hull has fallen
away, leaving only frames
exposed. Ironically, not
far away, east of Diamond
Shoals, lies the hulk of
U-701, depth-charged to
the bottom less than three
weeks later by Army A- 29
Hudson aircraft on patrol.
To see underwater video of
the YP-389: www.sanctuar-ies.noaa.gov/missions/batt-
leoftheatlantic2 — A.D.
Ethanol Bill Could Protect Boaters
Four U.S. senators introduced legislation in September to ensure that all
gasoline blended with ethanol that goes
on the market is compatible with engines,
including boat engines currently in use.
Recreational boaters have reported significant — and expensive — problems with
the current 10-percent ethanol blend now
sold in many parts of the country. Known
as E- 10, these blends have damaged marine
engines and boat fuel systems, and in some
cases necessitated replacement of fiberglass
fuel tanks. In fact, no boat in use today has
been designed — or is warranted — to run
on any fuel with greater than 10-percent
ethanol. (For more on the problem, see:
The Clean Air Act prohibits the sale
of so-called mid-level blends higher than
10 percent but the ethanol lobby is trying to obtain an Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) waiver to up the ethanol ante
to 15 percent.
“I fully support development of biofu-els to help cure the U.S. of its dependence
on foreign oil, but we need to make such
a transition in a way that helps, not hurts,
commercial and recreational equipment,
as well as the environment,” said Sen. Ben
COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES
The fishing trawler Cohasset commis- sioned in 1942 as YP-389 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard (above); the wreck of U-701, (right) discovered only 30 miles away from the wreck of YP-389.