During a strong northeast blow (Santa Ana wind condition), the small harbor of Avalon was being pounded by heavy chop and waves. Just outside of the breakwater, the yacht Suejac was anchored by herself, riding out the storm. As she began dragging her anchor and heading towards the breakwater, her three crew decided to jump into their dinghy for safety. Fortunately, a Harbor Patrol boat was one the scene for shortly after the crew entered their small boat, a wave overtook them, dumping them into the water. All three crew were rescued safely. However, the same cannot be said for the Suejac. Moments after being abandoned by her crew, she slammed into the breakwater, knocking a hole into her hull and sinking her in a matter of minutes.
Shortly after her sinking, divers descended to the wreck to salvage anything of value. Once the commercially salvageable items were removed, sport divers got the rest.
A small porthole recovered from the wreck of the Suejac.
It wasn't long before the Catalina Underwater Park at the Casino was extended to include the Suejac, and she has been regularly visited by sport divers ever since.
Diving the Suejac
The Suejac lies in a protected area on the lee side of Catalina Island, immediately outside of Avalon Harbor. The visibility in the area averages some 30-50' and may extended beyond 70. The wreck lays on its starboard side and a 90-degree angle to the breakwater with its stern in about 60' and its bow 90'. Now heavily overgrown, the lines of the yacht are concealed and blended in with the breakwater on which she rests. However, limited penetration is still possible. Given its location, it is many a new diver's first wreck dive.
A diver prepares to enter the wreck of the Suejac.