A vicious New Year’s eve storm in 1936 should have been the end of the 300 foot SS Monte Carlo as it ripped the ship from her moorings three miles offshore blowing her onto South Coronado Beach near San Diego California where she broke in two.
Anchored in international waters to avoid US laws, Monte Carlo earned the name “Sin Ship”.
Eighty years later though, in January 2016, El Nino storms scoured tonnes of sand from Coronado beaches resurrecting the infamous ship’s rusting bones.
Designed two decades earlier as a ferrocement oil tanker for the US military, while she was still on the ways in Wilmington, North Carolina, the First World War ended and what was to have been SS McKittrick became surplus to requirements. In 1921, converted and renamed SS Monte Carlo, she was launched, the first ship launched on her side.
Her tenuous berth three miles offshore in international waters, enabled Monte Carlo to become a gambling, bootleg whiskey and prostitution ship during the Great Depression with patrons being ferried out to the ship from Coronado and San Diego.