By David Madden
ATLANTIC CITY (CBS) – One-hundred and fifty-four years ago, a government steamer ship crashed into a schooner 12 miles off the coast of Atlantic City during a violent storm.
An effort is now underway to document the true story of the fate of the Robert J. Walker and why 21 men died aboard the vessel.
NOAA discovered the remains of the ship, one of the first of its kind used by the government, last summer.
The site has been added to the National Register of Historic Places, in part, to encourage local preservation efforts. That will start this summer with a project by students at Stockton State College, coordinated by researcher Peter Straub.
“We’re going to go out and make side scan sonar maps of the site, get some of the basic telemetry and images, so that a more careful survey can be done by local diving history enthusiasts starting in August.”
Straub insists this is a watery graveyard and the effort will reflect that respect.