HOLD FOUR - MEDICAL SUPPLIES (Maximum depth 36m)
This dive is known as the Medical Supplies dive. In fact, the dive goes to the fourth cargo hold which, unlike the front two holds, has no cargo hatch through which to enter. Originally used mainly for carrying motor vehicles when the Coolidge was a passenger liner, access to the hold from the outside was through a pair of large twin doors, one on each side.
Nowadays, access is through a number of ways, the easiest of which is a large long hole cut in the hull of E Deck for salvage purposes. Note that Hold Three has hatches from Hold Two but they appear to be hidden under a pile of jeeps and trucks. Hold Three is really part of Hold Two.
|The entrance to Hold Four||The entrance to Hold Four|
Another way is go to Hold Two and go right to the bottom and turn right. There is a rust hole between this hold across Hold Three and into Hold Four on this level (at the shallower part) and after going through (it is quite large), you see a sci-fi type scene, with dozens of egg-like objects. These are aluminium aircraft drop tanks, extra fuel tanks for large planes. Some have collapsed under water pressure but most are still intact. At the bottom of this hold near where you entered, there are hundreds of empty glass jars, most "concreted" into the steel of the ship. There is also a good deal of ammunition in this hold.
You can also enter from Hold Two through the lower level of the bottom of the hold. This comes out under the previously described section and you come into the next level up.
|Inside Hold Four||Bottles in Hold Four|
The next level is fairly empty but there are a number of objects which I will discuss later in this paragraph and one object which looks like a huge spinner for a prop, perhaps a spare for the Coolidge. It is tied to the floor (now the wall). There are also some smallish wooden boxes that contain things that look like soup tins. I could not ascertain what they were, perhaps smoke bombs or even soup cans!
The next level up is E Deck. Above it the hull is open so it is very light here. On the bottom of this section of the hull there are a dozen or more items that are in timber crates. I first thought that they were washing machines or refrigerators but closer examination of one located up on the hull near the hold shows them to be fuel powered cookers. The cookers have huge pots with handles that are removable for serving and cleaning. They also appear to have built in two gas or fuel canisters.
|Bullets in Hold Four||The drop tanks in Hold Four|
On the ledge between this level and the one deeper in the ship there used to be a huge amount of artefacts on display. Bullets, heavy calibre shells, plates, cups, teapots, cooking utensils, phones and other items. As indicated, this hold is called the Medical Supplies hold and was a large amount of medical supplies and equipment being carried here.
However, it is possible that the supplies were salvaged in 1943 by the Americans but this is not clear. There were still more things to see, for example, there are some glass vials that contain morphine, eye drops, cat gut and other drugs. There is now longer the amount of artefacts here as before, I do not know what happened to them.
|A movie camera I found in Hold Four||Is this a washing machine or a cooker?|
I still am not sure despite
a number of times thinking I was
From here you can go to the next level of the hold which is fairly empty and then through a small hatch to the next level and forward towards Hold Two along former accommodation areas. Just before here there are a number of glass vials hidden and these are shown to you. There are some other objects here, including old 78 rpm records (all broken), a glass ink well, a whistle, some different bottles. You then enter Hold Two though a rust hole and there are at least six complete records on your right.
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