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E. E. Simpson Tug
Fast FactsAverage Rating: 3.9091Average Depth: 18 ft.Max Depth: 20 ft.Features: 11,13,15
The tugboat, E. E. Simpson was built in Philadelphia in 1877 and named in honor of the founder of the E. E. Simpson Bank of Pensacola. The tug was 93 feet in length, with a 20-foot beam. The Simpson was frequently seen chugging up and down the coast from Pensacola to St. Andrews Bay (modern-day Panama City) in the early 1900s.
On October 26, 1929, the Aiken Towing Company was called in to help a fishing schooner, the Tecumseh, which had run hard aground while trying to enter the harbor at St. Andrews Bay. (At this time, the only entrance was through the East Pass, known today as the "old pass".) The Simpson worked for more than a day to try to free the Tecumseh which was already under eight feet of water. The pounding of wind and waves eventually opened leaks in the Simpson and the stack was sheared off by the wind. With her steam lines damaged, Captain Rocheblave reported that the tug was soon helpless and went to the bottom next to the schooner. All eight crew members rowed to shore safely. By the next day, the raging wind and surf had destroyed the schooner and the tug�s cabin was torn from the hull and carried away some distance.
Today the E. E. Simpson lies in about 20 feet of water 1/2 mile offshore of the old East Pass to the bay. The wreck is broken and scattered with a few intact parts listing to the side on the sandy bottom. The bow points north and the center of the wreck is marked by the boiler. Both the boiler and the engine just to the south are visible form the surface on a calm day. It�s best to dive this spot at slack tide.
Divers report a large variety of marine life living around the Simpson: squid, stingrays, sea turtles, stone crab, large schools of baitfish and angelfish. The wreck is popular with fishermen because of the cobia, King and Spanish Mackerel, flounder, grouper, and mangrove snapper that live in the area. The Simpson is a nice snorkel spot that is great for collecting seashells and for night dives.
Waypoint: EESIMP Latitude Longitude Degrees 30.05385 -85.6215166666667 Degrees/Minutes Degrees/Minutes/Seconds
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