'Torrent' - the oldest shipwreck ever found in American waters

10th July 2009, 08:39
A private dive team has discovered the wreckage of a U.S. ship that sank off the Alaskan coast 139 years ago.

The Torrent sank in Cook Inlet in 1868 after tidal currents rammed it into a reef south of the Kenai Peninsula. Documents from the period show that all 155 people on board survived.

The United States had purchased Alaska from Russia less than a year earlier, and about 130 U.S. Army soldiers had come north on the Torrent to build the first military fort in south-central Alaska.

The shipwreck is the oldest American wreck ever found in Alaska.