Photo album:

From Wreck to Reef: Species Inhabit the Shipwrecked SS Coast Trader

On June 7th, 1942, the merchant vessel SS Coast Trader was hit and sunk by a Japanese submarine torpedo. Seventy-four years later, on June 2nd 2016, a team of ocean scientists and marine archaeologists surveyed the wreck of the ship for the first time using ROVs launched from E/V Nautilus. The wreck was found at 138 meters and as ROV Hercules lit up the remains for the first time, explorers saw that the ROV was not alone. The wreck had become a habitat for dozens of fish and invertebrate species. Hundreds of lingcod and crabs shared the reef-like structure while rockfish darted in and out of rusty crevices. Sea snails crawled across the sponge-encrusted hull while beautiful white plumose anemones billowed off the mast like ghosts of the ship's sails.