Violent storms usually leave nothing but destruction in their wake. Broken homes, damaged properties, and sometimes the ending of lives are only some of the results of such calamities. But for the residents of Coronado, California, braving the storm that shook their homes was worth it.
In 2016,Coronado, California was plagued with a huge El Niño storm. After weeks of devastation, however, this storm proved to be lucky for the residents. Once the storm passed, the residents were able to see a strange formation in the shores of South Coronado Beach. This formation was revealed to be the wreckage of the 1930’s ship, the SS Montecarlo, a ship with a colorful history.
As it turned out, the SS Montecarlo was a “sin ship”. It was a 300-foot vessel for games of chance that supposedly hosted 15,000 risk takers a week! Built in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1921, the ship was owned by the United States Quartermaster Corps until 1923, when it was sold to the Associated Oil Company of San Francisco. The company then sold the ship to Ed Turner and Martin Schouwiler, who turned it into a place where they could make games of chance and “the oldest profession” legal. During the Prohibition, they tried to anchor the ship in international waters to avoid US laws but failed. On New Year’s Day in 1937, the ship was caught in similar storm that set it adrift.
Because of the use of the shipwreck in its prime, it is believed that at least $100,000 worth of gold and silver coins are still buried within the wreckage of the SS Montecarlo. Hidden treasure might entice some people to go wandering about the shipwreck but authorities advised visitors to exercise caution near the remains. Since the SS Montecarlo was made out of concrete and iron, erosion may have caused its frame to develop sharp edges. Instead of trying to dig for lost treasure inside the shipwreck, why not just enjoy the sight of the huge vessel? Besides, the wreckage of the SS Montecarlo is a treasure in itself.