This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to provide services and advertising. By continuing to browse, you agree to the use of cookies described in our Cookies Policy. You may change your settings at any time but this may impact on the functionality of the site. To learn more see our Cookies Policy.
Dublin: 0 °C Thursday 27 February, 2020

The real-life boat that survived The Perfect Storm has now been sunk

The Tamaroa was intentionally sunk more than 80 years after it was first commissioned.

Mark Whalberg and George Clooney starred in The Perfect Storm.
Mark Whalberg and George Clooney starred in The Perfect Storm.
Image: Youtube

THE SHIP MADE famous in the book and subsequent film The Perfect Storm has been intentionally sunk off the US coast so it can become part of an artificial reef.

The sinking of the Tamaroa, a 62 metre Coast Guard vessel, took place this week off the coasts of New Jersey and Delaware.

The sinking initially was scheduled to occur several months ago, but was repeatedly delayed by rough seas and other related issues.

The vessel was sent down about 61 km off the coast of Cape May, New Jersey.

It was deployed in water more than 36.5 metres deep after patches were removed from holes that were pre-cut into its hull, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

The pre-cut holes were part of the extensive work that had to be done before the ship could be sunk, including the removal of interior panelling and insulation as well as emptying and cleaning the vessel of all fuel and fluids.

The ship turned on its side as it slowly went down in the calm water, then turned straight up as the bulk of the vessel went under water. It then disappeared from view as a person on board a neighboring vessel thanked the Tamaroa for its long service.


A tugboat had started hauling the Tamaroa from a Norfolk, Virginia, shipyard on Monday afternoon and it slowly made its way up the Eastern Seaboard on Tuesday without any issues.

The Tamaroa was first commissioned by the U.S. Navy in 1934 under the name Zuni and saw action during World War II when it helped tow damaged vessels across the war-torn Pacific Ocean. It was transferred to the Coast Guard and renamed in 1946, then continued to serve until it eventually was decommissioned in 1994.

The vessel’s most notable mission came in October 1991, when three strong storm systems came together off the New England coast, generating 12 metre waves and wind gusts of more than 112 kph.

Perfect Storm Ship Reef The vessel even saw action in the Second World War. Source: AP

The Tamaroa’s crew helped save three people aboard a sailboat that was caught in the storm. They also rescued four of five crewmen of an Air National Guard helicopter that ran out of fuel during a similar rescue mission and had to be ditched in the ocean.

Both events were documented in Sebastian Junger’s 1997 book, The Perfect Storm, and a movie of the same name starring George Clooney.

Read: Met Éireann complaint says calling storms after Christian names is ‘very unfair’ >

Read: Met Éireann has been crunching the numbers on our ‘highly abnormal’ December >

  • Share on Facebook
  • Email this article

About the author:

Associated Press

Read next: