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Home > Wrecks > Baleen


The Baleen was a tug lost on November 1, 1975 in Outer Boston Harbor after a fire broke out on board and she was being towed back to port. Built in 1923 in Wisconsin, she was a steel-hulled ship 102 ft. in length with a 23 ft. beam. There were no fatalities associated with the sinking.

Today she sits upright in 170 FSW, with the top of the deckhouse at approximately 150 FSW. To me she represents the quintessential New England shipwreck – a tug absolutely covered with a multitude of brightly colored anemones. From a short distance away, the outline of the wreck is fuzzy from the tens of thousands of extended tentacles. The anemones seem to be particularly thick and beautiful on the top of the stack. One diver laughs about a lesson learned on one of his first dives on the Baleen, when he set a stage bottle down on the wreck only to see it disappear into a hole hidden by the anemones. He found and retrieved it on a subsequent dive.

The wreck can be penetrated throughout. Portions of the engine room are silted in, but there is still room to swim around both sides of the engine and equipment. A large bow compartment is completely open and accessible from a ladder on the port side near the pilot house. The silt bottom has built up along the starboard side near the stern, but the propeller is still easily visible. On a day with good visibility, circling the bow down low and looking back and up at the wreck without benefit of a light is a truly awesome sight.

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