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Visit Historical Shipwreck Selma in Galveston Ship Channel
Saturday, December 3, 2022, 10:00 AM until 1:00 PM
Galveston Seawolf Park
100 Seawolf Park Blvd · Galveston, TX
Short paddle, family and beginners friendly, to view from up-close the historical ship. 2-3 hours / 2-3 miles paddling tour. Organized by Constantin Platon under his kayaking business. HASK members bring their own gear and pay $15 cash for guided tour event insurance. ACA behavior rules and paddling guidelines are enforced.
Did you know? Resting for 102 years, SS Selma is a ship made of concrete reinforced with rebar, and is the only permanent, and prominent, shipwreck along the Houston Ship Channel. It lies approximately one mile north of Galveston Island.
SS Selma was an oil tanker built in 1919. Steel shortages during World War I led the USA to build experimental concrete ships, the largest of which was the SS Selma, today partially submerged in Galveston Bay and visible from both the Houston Ship Channel and Seawolf Park.
President Woodrow Wilson approved the construction of 24 concrete vessels of which only 12 were actually completed. SS Selma was built in Mobile, Alabama.
The ship was launched on June 28, 1919, the same day Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles, officially ending World War I. As a result, the 7,500-ton ship never served during the war. Instead, she was placed into service as an oil tanker in the Gulf of Mexico.
On May 31, 1920, the SS Selma hit a jetty in Tampico, Mexico, ripping a 60-foot hole in her hull. After attempts to repair the ship in Galveston failed, and efforts to sell the ship proved unsuccessful, USA officials decided to intentionally scuttle the ship.
A channel 1,500 feet long and 25 feet deep was dug to a point just off Pelican Island's where the ship was laid to rest. The wreck of the SS Selma has since been the object of failed plans to convert it for use as a fishing pier, pleasure resort, and an oyster farm. Long a source of curiosity and local legend, it remains important to scientists who continue to study aspects of its concrete construction.