New tech gives us glimpse into 100 year old shipwreck off CA coast

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- It's the first glimpse of an important piece of coast guard history that no one has laid eyes on in 100 years.

A sunken cutter sits on the bottom of the ocean off the California coast, but thanks to new technology, it's no longer forgotten.

It's a few miles off Point Conception on the Santa Barbara County Coast.

June 13 is exactly one century after the San Francisco-based cutter McCulloch sank. The coast guard released video of the shipwreck that was first discovered last October.

More than 300 feet below the surface, white anemones cover the cutter's torpedo tube molded into the bow stem.

There are fish swimming past a 6-pound rapid-fire gun, one of four on the vessel that were actually used in the Spanish-American war.

The cutter served in the Battle at Manila Bay in 1898, just two years after it was built for $200,000 - the largest cutter at the time.

The McCulloch sank in 1917 after colliding with a passenger steamship in heavy fog, killing one crew member.

Federal officials praised the cutter's service.

"She performed a wide range of missions, and protecting mariners at sea, protecting fur seals in Alaska and protecting our nation from harm," said Adm. Todd Sokalzuk with the USCG.

The video shows the steering station. The wooden handles have been nibbled away by organisms, but the metal helm still stands.

People will not be able to see the remains in person because the vessel is too delicate to move.

To learn more about the sunken McCulloch, click here.
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