ss-ozamaWhen we go to the movies or watch crime shows on TV featuring all manner of theft and gun running its easy to forget, with all the modern technology,  that gun running and smuggling has being going on for a very long time.

A ship wreck has been found off the coast of South Carolina’s Cape Romain in about 40 feet of water and positively identified as the SS Ozama by underwater archaeology pioneer and treasure hunter Dr. E. Lee Spence. Dr Spence also found the Civil War submarine H.L. Hunley, previously written up on this blog, as well as, the SS Georgiana and many other significant shipwrecks.

According to Dr. Spence, the SS Ozama is in surprisingly good condition with most of the ship relatively intact and sitting upright.

The vessel was built in Scotland in 1881 as the steamer Craigallion and in 1884 was used to tow one of the great dredges from New York to the construction site of the Panama Canal in Central America.

Craigallion was wrecked in 1885 in the Bahamas, salvaged and renamed Ozama after the river in Santo Dominco  Dominican Republic, a regular port of call.

Ozama has a colorful history, which includes mutiny, extensive gun running , paper money smuggling and possibly gold, to Haiti.

In addition to reports by the New York Times of gun running to Haiti, another article reported that $300,000 in paper money to Haiti with the first tranche of $1,000,000 meant to replace a previous issue.

Spence, whose work is being funded by British company United Gold Explorations Limited, told Discovery News “Whatever is still there, we have good reason to believe at least some of it will be intact, as I have already brought up some unbroken china.”  He is hoping to find gold, but the team will thoroughly map the wreck and try to determine its structural integrity before digging in.

The original article tells an interesting tale. To learn more, click on Smuggler’s Shipwrecked Steamer Found.

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