Meet new scuba divers, maintain a virtual dive log, participate in our forum, share underwater photos, research dive sites and more. Members login here.

USS Algol - Point Pleasant Beach NJ

USS Algol is a boat accessible salt water dive site, located in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ. This dive site has an average rating of 4.57 out of 5 from 7 scuba divers. The maximum depth is 141-150ft/43-46m.

07341.450 4006.545
This is the largest vessel yet used in the New Jersey Artificial Reef Program, and ranks as one of the largest vessels ever used as an artificial reef anywhere. ... The Algol is completely intact, upright, and huge. It would take several trips to fully explore it, without doing any penetrations. A good dive can be had on this wreck at almost any depth you want, from the top of the superstructure at 70 ft to the main deck at 110 ft to the sand at 140 ft.

The Algol was a Navy transport ship that had a long and successful service career from World War II to the Cuban Missile Crisis. See below for the complete and official Navy history of the vessel. After lying in the mothball fleet at Norfolk for some twenty years, she was transferred to the New Jersey Artificial Reef Program and sunk with little fanfare, unlike the much-hyped ( and not much bigger ) Spiegel Grove in Florida.
This is the largest vessel yet used in the New Jersey Artificial Reef Program, and ranks as one of the largest vessels ever used as an artificial reef anywhere. She is also the largest vessel of any kind sunk in this region ( excluding the Andrea Doria, ) narrowly edging out the San Diego in tonnage.
Since its sinking, currents have scoured out a hole around the hull that is significantly deeper than the 125 ft of the surrounding area. The bow was completely undercut for 20 to30 ft - you could squeeze under it at a depth of perhaps 150 ft if you wanted. Depth to the sand is somewhat less at the other end, but the rudder and propeller are gone, so it’s not as interesting as it could be. The cargo holds are also quite deep, but are filling up with silt.
Since it is sunk as an artificial reef, considerable effort was put into cleaning and opening up the Algol before it was sunk. All windows and doors are removed, as well as the cargo hold hatches. As a consequence, there are many areas that can be penetrated easily, including much of the superstructure and the cargo holds. Because of its multi-level nature, the Algol is often used for advanced training dives. No part of either the hull or the superstructure has even begun to collapse yet - even catwalks and railings are solidly in place. The superstructure is like a large three story building. The smokestack has been removed, leaving an ugly teardrop shaped scar which can be used to orient yourself. The fat end of the teardrop points toward the bow, and the narrow end points toward the stern. At the bow and stern, paired tubs for anti-aircraft guns are still evident. There is a large hole into the hold in the port-side hull near the sand below the superstructure, where a hull plate has fallen away.
Current at wreck level can be anything from slight to very strong, and is also very changeable. I have seen it reverse 180 degrees between the first dive and the second. Current at the surface is not usually a problem. There is generally a thermocline between 80 and 100 ft. The ship has acquired a nice covering of marine life. The Algol is renowned for its mussels, which are all over the top of the superstructure. Large lobsters, Blackfish and other types can be found here, although I do not consider this to be a particularly good hunting wreck. For all its immensity, spearfishing is rather poor, and for lobsters you must go all the way down to 140 ft or more. Lobsters are more common on the clay bottom 30-60 ft away from the hull, if you insist. There are still some brass artifacts to be found inside the ship, and on a wreck this size you are also bound to find something to take pictures of if that’s your interest.
Refer to the diagram above for locations. It is difficult to find subjects on the Algol to photograph, because most things are just too big. Visibility here is a snowy 40 feet, under a broken cloudy sky, around noon in October. So far, this is just the forward half of the ship, the rest will have to wait for another time.

Type: shipwreck, Andromeda class attack transport ( freighter ), U.S. Navy also known as a "Victory Ship" although often incorrectly referred to as a Liberty Ship
Name: One of a series of Navy transports named for stars; Algol is a star in the constellation Perseus, also known as the Demon star.
Built: 1943; Oakland CA USA, as James Barnes
Specs: ( 459 x 63 ft ) 13910 displacement tons, 429 crew
Sunk: Thursday November 22, 1991
Sponsor: Federal Aid in Sportfish Restoration
Depth: 145 ft +, starts at 70 ft, main deck at 110 ft

Dive Site Map

Click to Load Map


JMH115 - 4/29/2018 2:14 PM
I went scuba diving here on 12/2/2017. Water temp: 50-55°F/10-13°C.
JMH115 - 4/29/2018 2:12 PM
I went scuba diving here on 12/2/2017. Average viz: 26-30ft/8-9m. Water temp: 50-55°F/10-13°C.
Jonahmklein - 12/16/2015 9:45 AM
Rating Added: 4
Great dive. Top deck is about 90’, Inside cargo hold goes down to 130 but will silt up in a blink so run a line. Sand can get to 150’ If you drop the port side from stern and follow forward is like diving a wall with lots of marine life. Can do so much on this ship.
terapin - 9/10/2014 7:58 AM
Rating Added: 5
One of my favorite Jersey dives! Loaded with mussels and beautiful soft coral.
Mavricky - 6/19/2012 8:47 PM
I don’t know if this will post or if I even should try here but the video just in. Before you begin please understand I was to be the bailout for the group so the AL-80 had to stay on me at all times. Let’s see if this works:
Mavricky - 6/17/2012 7:48 PM
Rating Added: 4

2012-06-16 was there on Jeanne II and it was a great day to be there. I only made the first of two dives and vis was at least 25 feet. Main deck is about 110 but to see best we crused it at about 90 feet. Made it all the way from super structure to the ship’s bow and what a sight. Looking down vis was at least 35 feet as eyes adjusted and such a temptation to decend was hard to resist. But the depth and the length of the ship make for a closely monitored dive. For me anyway. Diving 100 CF air put me right on the edge and decided 2nd dive better left for another day. Deepest I went was 103 and it was enough for a first time diving on it.

For those who saw me there, no that’s not a deco on my D-rings. It’s a paranoid diver’s pony. Actually I was to be the safety for my group on that dive. Worked out differently.

I’d sure recomend this dive.
Love2DiveGirl - 3/04/2012 7:46 PM
Rating Added: 5
Awesome huge intact wreck. Had about 40 ft viz.