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Tolten - 11 miles off Barnegat NJ

Tolten is a boat accessible salt water dive site, located in 11 miles off Barnegat, NJ. This dive site has an average rating of 4.75 out of 5 from 4 scuba divers. The maximum depth is 91-100ft/28-30m. The average visibility is 16-20ft/5-6m.

The Tolten, a Chilean cargo ship, was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat in March 1942. The Tolten was en route from Baltimore to NYC with her lights turned off when the U-404 slammed a torpedo into her hull just below the bridge. Of her 28 crew there was only 1 survivor. (The U-404 sank another ship, the Lemuel Burrows, off Atlantic City the following night.) After the war, the wreck of the Tolten was wire dragged to reduce the risk to shipping. U-boat crews referred to 1942 as "the Happy Time" since their hunting off the target-rich US coast was almost completely unopposed.

As with many wrecks like this, most of the remaining structure is found at the bow and stern, while in-between is mostly flattened-out albeit still with sights to see. The broken bow rises at least 20 ft off the bottom and in the stern area there are several large enclosed spaces that may be entered. The wreck lies roughly east-west and is contiguous, which simplifies navigation.

Much of the wreckage is overgrown with a luxurious layer of hydroids, anemones, and other marine life. Lobstering seems to be better along the south edge and around the fallen masts and hull plates, and the Tolten is a regular producer in this regard. Conditions this far offshore are often excellent, although this is usually a chilly dive.

This is a long swim all around the wreck, starting near the bow and going aft past the boilers, and down the shaft alley. Around the stern to the propeller, and then back to the bow and the anchor.

Dive Site Map

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CharlieDontDive - 7/01/2019 11:16 PM
Rating Added: 4
Dove here on 6/23/19 on the Gypsy Blood. If you like Northeast wrecks and WW2 history, you’ll like the Tolten. Despite the overall lack of structure remaining, there’s still a lot to see. Surprisingly, there are still artifacts to be found- 2 divers on my boat found stuff, including a fork. The boat will likely tie off to the wheelhouse (I think its the only spot). The wheelhouse has some stuff to see, but turn right at the wheelhouse and head toward the bow to see some really cool stuff, including the boilers- they’re quite large- and what appears to be the turbine shaft for the propeller. There was plenty of sea life as well...tons of sea bass and someone brought up an enormous lobster. Like all NJ wrecks, it will be dark and cold.
Dima - 6/15/2015 3:09 AM
Rating Added: 5
We were diving Tolten with Gypsy Blood on 6/14/2015. My buddy was Pete Raft whom I met on DiveBuddy forum. We were lucky with amazingly calm ocean and great vis (30 ft). The wreck is fascinating; it is well preserved (but not intact), parts are identifiable; one fellow dive dug a key, button with an anchor on it, and a handful of Chilean coins. It was really freezing in wet suite with water 46F at 87 feet. All other divers were with technical gear (doubles or side mount, with deco stage bottles), though majority did two no-deco dives...