Exploring SS Sapona: A Century-Old Shipwreck off Bimini in the Bahamas
The SS Sapona is a spooky shipwreck in Bimini in the Bahamas. The shipwreck sits in 15 feet of water. It is located a few miles off Bennett's Harbour in South Bimini. Recreational sport divers frequent the wreck because it is in such shallow water and attracts an abundance of marine life.
Most of the concrete on the hull is worn away by the bombing and decades of weathering. However, despite the massively deteriorated condition of the 100 years of the ship, you can still see some of the ship's inner workings.
The SS Sapona shipwreck in these image is made from concrete. Because steel was in short supply, former U.S. President Woodrow Wilson commissioned a fleet of concrete ships. It was designed to be a troop carrier.
SS Sapona History
The SS Sapona is a concrete cargo steamer vessel designed by Henry Ford and built by the Liberty Ship Building Company in Wilmington, North Carolina, in January 1920. Steel was pretty scarce during WW1, so concrete cargo ships were required for the war effort. American president Woodrow Wilson originally commissioned the boat.
The war had ended, and the concrete ship was never used as a troop carrier; subsequently sold for scrap to Carl Fisher and turned into a casino. He planned to convert it into a private floating club in the Florida Keys, but the idea never materialized. Then Bruce Bethel (big-time rum runner in The Bahamas) purchased the vessel. During Prohibition in the United States, Bruce planned to use the ship as a massive floating liquor warehouse to supply rum and whiskey to the eastern United States from the beautiful Caribbean. However, the ship ran aground and was destroyed in 1926 by a hurricane.
SS Sapona ship was used as a bombing target
The SS Sapona ship ran aground and was damaged substantially during a hurricane in 1926 in the Bahamas. During WW2, the SS Sapona was used for target practice by U.S. Airforce. The frequent bombing from the training missions has stripped the hull of most of its concrete and created the current spooky or haunted look of the century-old abandoned ship ruin.
Lost USAF Squadron Flight 19
During WWII, the USA Airforce frequently used the ship as a bombing target practice. The abandoned ship became historically famous when five torpedo bombers mysteriously disappeared on December 5, 1945, while on a bombing training mission. This disappearance of the fighter aircraft, while returning home from a practice bombing of the SS Sapona, spurred the Burmuda triangle mystery.