A prohibition-era shipwreck resurfaced off the coast of southern California after the El Nino storms of 2016. The infamous “sin ship” was a vessel once notorious for its illegal prostitution and gambling, and is said to still house over 100,000 worth of silver!
When the ship resurfaced on Coronado Beach in California, much to the surprise of locals relaxing there, the 300-foot-long wreck piqued the curiosity of many.
The ship resurfaced
“It’s pretty amazing! I’ve lived here all my life and I’ve been to this beach many times and I had no idea it was here,” said one local, as quoted by ABC.
It was only later that the vessel was identified as the SS Monte Carlo, a ship from the 1930s prohibition era. The mob-run “sin ship” once advertised “dining, dancing and dames,” as well as gambling to those who wanted to indulge certain illicit activities in a time when prohibition was waning.
The story of SS Monte Carlo
The infamous Monte Carlo was forever anchored in international waters, thereby allowing it to circumvent U.S. laws. Ferries would set off from the Hawthorn Street dock every fifteen minutes, transporting patrons aboard for whoever wished a little indulgence outside the law’s reach. It is even reported that Hollywood celebrities such as Mae West and Clark Gable used to visit the sin ship.
Although the boat was criticized for its illicit activities, police were unable to halt its operations, since it was anchored outside their jurisdiction. Meanwhile, some of the strongest voices against the SS Monte Carlo were from the church, which was adamant about shutting it down.
“Evangelists throughout San Diego County and Southern California devoted their whole sermons to sin ships, ‘May God let forth His wrath!’ … When it did break moorings and crashed, they took credit,” NBC quoted Joe Ditler, who has been studying the ship for over three decades.
The ship sank on Dec. 31, 1936, when it was hit by a vicious storm, and remained lost since then. Last year, the El Nino storms stripped down the shoreline sands, once again revealing the infamous ship to the world.
There is even speculation that the ship harbors somewhere within its bowels a treasure of silver coins worth approximately $140,000.
Photo Credit: YouTube Screenshot | CW6 San Diego.