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A ship that sank in 1888, resulting in the deaths of 16 people, has been found sitting upright at the bottom of San Francisco Bay under the Golden Gate Bridge.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the discovery of the 202-foot passenger ship, named the “City of Chester,” on Wednesday, reports The San Francisco Chronicle. It was discovered last May and the giant gash on the port-side bow is visible. A high-tech echo-sound sonar system was required to find it.
James Delgado, NOAA director of maritime heritage, told NBC Bay Area that the find is significant as it brings more interest to the story of the City of Chester, which involves racism against Chinese immigrants arriving during the Gold Rush era.
The accident happened when a boat with Chinese immigrants struck the Chester. Even though those onboard the other ship tried to save the lives of Chester passengers, the other ship was blamed for the accident. It was later revealed that it was the fault of the Chester crew.
“When this happened, it happened in an atmosphere in which the population was dead set against the Chinese,” Delgado told the Chronicle. “They accused the Chinese of standing there impassively and watching these white people drown.”
Although the ship was discovered a year ago, the NOAA held off on announcing its findings until it completed an investigation of the data.