Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving Web Site
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Kelly Talking on ABC Sydney about Shipwrecks
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Australian Dive Sites
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Dive Related Equipment
Shearwater Predator and Heinrichs Weikamp OSTC 2N
Uwatec Aladin Dive Computers
Apollo AV1 Underwater Scooter
Bauer Compressor
DIY Oxygen Stick - Nitrox
GoPro HD Hero Video Camera
My Camera Setup
Purchase of New Dive Boat
My Dive Boat - Mak Cat
My Old Dive Boat - Le Scat
My Dive Gear
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Make Your Own Car Tank Rack

Marine Life
Rarer Sydney Marine Life
Bare Island Pygmy Pipe Horses
Bare Island Sea Horses
Bare Island Nudibranchs
Bare Island Marine Life
Encounter with Southern Right Whale and Calf

Other Dive Info
How Weather Affects Diving in Sydney
Visibility and Wave Averages in Sydney
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Dive Accidents and Incidents
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Noel Hitchins 1951-2005
Lloyd Bridges - Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt
My Yachting Adventures
Below is a list of links to the main pages about my yacht, Catlypso and My Yachting Adventures:
  • Purchase of Catlypso
  • Details about Catlypso
  • Cleaning/Repairing Catlypso
  • My Yachting Adventures.
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    Michael's 4WD Trips
    Click here for a list of my Four Wheel Drive and Camping Trips.
    Home Brewing
    Click here for an article about Home Brewing.
    Sydney Dive Site Hints
    "Dee Why Wide has a huge ship's anchor stuck in a crack"
    SS President Coolidge - Letter from Henry Nelson
    Michael McFadyen's Scuba Diving - Letter from Henry Nelson
    Captain Henry Nelson
    The following is a word-for-word copy of a letter from Henry Nelson, Master, SS President Coolidge to Captain Roberts, Commanding Officer, Naval Forces Base "Button" (Santo) sent on 28 October 1942 regarding the Loss of SS President Coolidge. See Main Coolidge Page for more information on the ship and the sinking:

    "Dear Sir

    1. Sailing from White Poppy for Button on October 24th, we arrived at a point called "Hypo" off the island outside of the port of Espiritu Santos and not having had any instructions as to any mines or other dangers to this port, proceeded on a course as I thought to the harbor of Button.

    2. We contacted two destroyers prior to the entry where the ship struck the two mines. No information was given to us and no challenge was made by either of the two ships, and the first intimation was from a signal station further in the harbor telling me to stop, that we were approaching danger. I in turn stopped the engines and backed the engines, but with the speed that we were carrying, we still went too far and we struck two mines. I immediately, with the speed we had left, headed the ship for the beach, and ordered "Abandon Ship", which was done and completed in forty-five minutes of 5,000 personnel for which there is only a loss of one crew member.

    3. Sailing from White Poppy, no one mentioned to me, no one informed me, that there was a mine field at Espiritu Santos. Had there been some knowledge of mines, I never would have approached anywhere within miles of the port. There was no guard boat anywhere visible.

    Yours respectfully,

    Henry Nelson
    Master, SS President Coolidge"

    Return to the Investigation into Sinking Page.

    Return to the Main SS President Coolidge Index Page.


  • Copies of original papers from the Court Martial given to me by Kevin Green of Aquamarine Diving, Santo
  • The Lady and the President - The Life and Loss of the S.S. President Coolidge by Peter Stone

  • Copyright © Michael McFadyen 1990 to 2024
    Non-commercial use of an article or photograph is permitted with appropriate URL reference to this site.
    Dive shops, dive operators, publications and government departments cannot use anything without first seeking and receiving approval from Michael McFadyen.
    This web site has been wholly thought up, designed, constructed and funded for almost 30 years by Michael McFadyen without any help from the Australian Dive Industry.
    Website created 1996!