The Angela was designed and built in 1962-63 for the specific job of
transporting dry cement. She and her two sisters were the largest ocean going
cement barges in the world. She was 425 feet long and 8512 gross tons. Her
design was considered unique in that she was unmanned and self loading. Her two
enormous screw augers extended three-quarters the length of the barge. There
function was to mix the dry cement with air, and move it forward to be placed
into silos on shore. In April 1971 the Angela was in tow with over 70,000
barrels of cement heading for Boston via the Cape Cod Canal. With very dense fog
and a building sea, the tow hawser parted. The captain of the tug decided to
anchor his tow (he was able to do this using a remote control device). He then
placed two crew on the barge to check the anchor and finding it secure, sought
shelter in New Bedford to wait out the fig and seas. The changing current
meanwhile swung the heavy barge onto the nearby Hens and Chicken Reef. When the
captain returned he found his barge squarely impaled on top of old cock rock.
When divers were finally able to check her hull, they found extensive damage.
Some salvage was conducted, her two diesel engines that operated the screw
augers were recovered, and her diesel fuel was removed.
Today, the Angela remains grounded on the rock reef that ensnared her. She can be located on any nautical chart off Westport, Massachusetts.
BOTTOM TOPOGRAPHY: Depths range from the surface to 30 feet. A group of divers in the 1970's recovered many portholes from the wreck. There are few, if any, left to be found today.
MARINE LIFE: On a calm day, she is a great fish haven with lots of colorful marine growth.
HAZARDS: Be careful of sharp metal, and surge conditions. There is usually no problem with current, but it can develop quickly and without warning. Avoid this site if the seas are rough. Leave someone on your boat, and do not tie-up directly to the wreck itself. Getting there from Mishaum is a bit tricky as you get near. There are many rocks in the area and they are easy to hit.