Catastrophe on its first deep dive 220 miles east of Cape Cod
On this day in 1963, the USS Thresher, regarded by the Navy as the world's most advanced operational attack submarine, made its first deep dive 220 miles east of Cape Cod and never returned. All 129 men aboard the Thresher were killed and their bodies never recovered. The vessel sank in waters more than 8,000 feet deep, too far below the surface to salvage.
A court of inquiry later concluded that the Thresher "most probably" sank when one of its salt-water systems failed in the engine room. "The inside was probably subjected to a violent spray, then a flood of water, which shorted out vital electrical connections and caused the ship to sink," United Press International reported in a 1988 anniversary account.
The Navy found the wreckage of the ship in the summer of 1964 in its second search for the Thresher. Grainy photographs taken by the deep-diving bathyscaph Trieste II showed four damaged sections of the hull, including one bearing the number "59." The submarine's Navy identification number had been "593."
A scientist involved in the search compared it to "looking for a nickel in a muddy football field at midnight."
A year earlier the bathyscaph Trieste I had found pieces of the 4,300-ton submarine and retrieved a length of copper piping and a fitting, which are on display at the Naval Museum in Washington.
The Thresher was commissioned in August 1961 and based at the Portsmouth, N.H., Naval Shipyard.
The Boston Yacht Club was founded in 1866 by three Dartmouth alumni who sought a venue for yacht racing that would provide "that spirit of comradeship, of courtesy and chivalry, of sympathetic joy in a common sport". 90 original members began the club, including the then 18 year old Nat Herreshoff.
One year later, Herreshoff drafted the first sailing measurement rule that later became the basis for future handicap rating systems.
In 1874 the first clubhouse was opened at City Point in South Boston, membership then numbering 250 with over 80 yachts. Through a series of club mergers, the Boston Yacht Club grew and, by 1910, the club operated from six different stations: Rowe's Wharf in Boston, Hull, City Point in South Boston, Marblehead, Dorchester, and Five Islands in Sheepscot Bay, Maine.
Today the club operates from a single station in Marblehead, with 500 members and 400 yachts flying the BYC burgee shown on the right.
On the right is the Reliance designed by Herreshoff ahead of Shamrock III, Sir Thomas Lipton's in the 1903 America's Cup. Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons.
On this date in 1914, the small item below about the upcoming Boston Yacht Club cruise appeared in the New York Times: