Research has been documenting shipwrecks since 1979. Copies
of this research are made available on CD-ROM to raise funds
for the continuation of this project. The `NMR Database' CD
features more than 100,000 North American wrecks from the 1500s
Causes of Shipwrecks:
To over-simplify the cause of shipwrecks, they can be divided
into nature-related and human-related causes.
The nature-related causes include:
1. Atmospheric - wind of various degrees from squall to hurricane;
and reduced visibility by fog, rain, snow, etc.
2. Oceanic - currents, tides, etc.
3. Climatic - ice, icebergs
4. Tectonic - earthquakes, volcanos, tidal waves
The human-related causes include:
1. Economic - inferior construction, equipment or repair; improper
loading, fraud; piracy; mutiny; arson; war
2. Seamanship - inferior quality or behavior of captain, officers
or crew in navigation or ship-handling
3. Technological - inaccurate charts, new technology, lack of
4. Other - fire of unknown origin, disease, etc.
These various causes result in ships foundering, leaking, capsizing,
colliding, exploding, catching on fire, going missing, being
abandoned, break downs, being torpedoed, mined, bombed, captured,
seizure, sabotaged, or scuttling to avoid capture.
Shipwreck Hot Spots
Hot spots or areas of high shipwreck concentrations (not including
the approaches and entrances of major harbors). These include:
Cape Race, NF., Sable Island, NS., Cape Breton, NS., St. Paul
Island, NS., Cape Sable Island, NS., Grand Manan Island, NB.,
Mount Desert Island, ME., Isle of Shoals, NH., Cape Ann, MA.,
Cape Cod, MA., Nantucket Island, MA., Block Island, RI., Long
Island, NY., Sandy Hook, NJ., Cape May, NJ., Cape Henlopen,
DE., Cape Charles, VA., Cape Henry, VA., Cape Hatteras, NC.,
Cape Lookout, NC., Cape Fear, NC., Cape Romain, SC., Cape Canaveral,
FL., Straits of Florida, FL., Florida Keys, FL., Key West, FL.,
Dry Tortugas, FL., Cape San Blas, FL., Santa Rosa Island, FL.,
Dauphin Island, AL., Chandeleur Islands, MS., Mississippi River,
MS.(+), Matagorda, TX., Padre Island, TX.
Strait of Georgia, BC., Barkley Sound, BC., Strait of Juan de
Fuca, WA./BC., Puget Sound, WA., Cape Flattery, WA., Cape Disappointment,
WA., Columbia River, WA./OR., Cape Blanco, OR., Cape Mendocino,
CA., Point Arena, CA., Point Reyes, CA., Point Arguello, CA.,
Point Honda, CA., Point Conception, CA., Channel Islands National
Park, Santa Barbara, CA., Santa Catalina Island, CA., San Clemente
Island, CA., Baja California, Mexico, Gulf of California, Mexico.
© 2010 Northern Maritime Research