Ocean Venus or The Lead Wreck
Canaveral Florida Ship Wreck from World War II
Friday October 20, 2017
The Ocean Venus or Lead Wreck out of Port Canaveral is one of the first wrecks that Captain Richard remembers diving and fishing when he came back from college in the early 1980's. "The The Barracuda Dive Club out of Brevard Community College was running dive trips out of Port Canaveral and I hopped on board with a friend and we went to The Lead Wreck and also to The Dutch Wreck for a day of recreational diving.", explains Captain Richard." I was young and in my early 20's and often climbed on board with locals to dive and fish the reefs around Brevard County. I'd been working out of a dive club in Palm Beach during college and when I came home it was natural for me to want to make a splash and look around in my home waters. I don't know who put the semi permanent orange float above The Lead Wreck in the late 70's, but I do remember having to do dead reckoning to get to the wreck because we had such limited amount of navigation equipment on board as Loran-C was not readily available. The orange float was a life saver and was consistently attached."
According to maritime records sixty 'Ocean' class vessels were built to the original 'Empire Liberty' design which was in essence the first 'North Sands' ship. Thirty of the vessels were built on the West Coast at Richmond, California and thirty on the East coast at South Portland, Maine. All of these 'Ocean' vessels were paid for and owned by the British Government. When the U.S.A. joined the war, no further ships were ordered directly by the British Government from the U.S.A. but were dealt with under the Lease-Lend Act.
The 'Ocean' vessels differed from the Canadian 'Forts' and 'Parks' in that they were of a welded construction. Welding saved weight due to the elimination of plate overlaps and rivets. Another advantage was minimal surface friction, bringing economies in fuel consumption. However, a significant disadvantage was that a number of these welded ships developed major fractures.
The plans for the main engines originated from a design by the British company of North Eastern Marine Engineering Company Limited. The main engine contract was awarded to the General Machinery Corporation of Ohio but not all of the sixty sets went to the 'Ocean' ships as some were interchanged with the US Maritime Commission's Canadian- built 'Fort' ships. The same engine was used in the 'Liberty' ships.
The Ocean Venus was a British freighter that was torpedoed and sunk by U 564 on May 3rd 1942 that was flattened for navigation purposes, the ship was known for it's cargo of lead. Now mainly stripped of it's cargo, the ship sits in approximately 80 feet of water out of Port Canaveral and host many different species of fish and marine life.
The measurements of the 'Ocean' type ships was registered at 441.5' x 57'. Gross tonnage was 7,174 and dead weight was 10,500 tons. Speed was 11 knots.
Longitude and Latitude N 28° 28.66' - W 80° 21.98'
Wreck fishing can be very productive and an enjoyable day for anglers wanting to relax and pull on some South Atlantic Sports Fish. If you are considering a fishing trip on one of the many offshore wrecks off east central Florida, simply fill out the form below and we'll be prompt to get back with you.
Lead Wreck or Ocean Venus
Last modified: May 20 2017 14:04:34.
Published by: Captain Richard Bradley of Lagooner Fishing Guides©