During the past two weeks Healthy Seas partners LAUE (Los Angeles Underwater Explorers) carried on an ambitious mission: to clean up the “Olympic”, a popular shipwreck in southern California, in the south Bay near San Pedro.
The Olympic started her life as the Star of France. She was built in Ireland in 1877 as a 3 masted ship and was 258′ x 38′. She served as a fishing barge for many years until the morning of September 4, 1940 when she was hit by another boat, the Sakito. It was tragic as she sunk fast with the loss of some lives. The Olympic now sits a few miles out of Los Angeles Harbor in 100′ of water.
Diving the Olympic can be a fun dive with good conditions but challenging with poor conditions. Visibility can be anywhere from a few feet to 50′ plus. She sits on her starboard side and relatively intact with the bow standing some 30 feet off the bottom. Despite this, there are still hazards to be aware of and even more so when the visibility is poor. LAUE’s Board Member, Heather Hamza, explained us the adventurous mission: “We had been doing some fun dives there a few weeks ago, but we did not get very far. My teammate and I discovered 2 big balls of gill net right under the anchor chain, with mortalities. We knew we needed to come back asap to survey and to clean up. After our trip got bumped twice due to weather then boat issues, the third time the ocean blessed us with fantastic visibility”.
To learn more about the Olympic wreck please visit the California Wreck Divers (CWD) website.