Report: USS YF-415 (230′)

Saturday morning we got out early headed to dive the USS YF415. The YF 415 was a US Navy Freight Lighter commissioned in 1943, and sunk only 8 months later in 1944. On May 10, 1944 the YF-415 was loaded with several hundred tons of munitions at Hingham, and was disposing of them in deep water, when some of the munitions ignited, setting off a series of massive explosions, sinking the YF-415 and killing 17 men.

Today the YF sits upright in about 230′, with the bow nearly buried in the sand, and the stern and props sticking up clear of the bottom.We left the dock early, with Danny Allen, Jim Cooney, Ian Pitt, Greg & Myself diving, and Captains Matt & Marissa running the boat. The YF is about an hour run from Gloucester, so we took our time gearing up and getting ready to dive.

After dropping the shot line, Jim & Danny were first in the water, and from the surface we could see that the visibility looked pretty good. Ian followed, and finally Greg & I splashed, did our checks, and headed down. Visibility in the top 20′ was spectacular, but at about 25′ we entered a brown layer and our hearts sank – vis was less than 5 feet – luckily, at about 40′ we popped out of the murk and the water was gin clear! By 75′ we could see the strobes set at 200′, and by 90′ we could see divers on both ends of the wreck. Visibility was simply stunning! It’s not often (up here at least!) that you get to see an entire wreck end-to-end, and to have these kind of conditions was really special.

Greg and I spent our dive poking around and inside the wreck before dropping down to put some gas in the lift bag attached to the shot-weight. We reluctantly left the wreck and had an uneventful deco, with a runtime of 90 minutes. Water temp on the bottom was 45-degrees, and at my 20′ stop was 55-degrees.

Definitely the best dive of the season, and probably in my top five New England dives ever! Great conditions on top and at depth, and overall a fantastic day on the water!

Hope everyone is having a great dive season – if not, time to get out diving!

Dive Safe,
Mike P.