The S.S. Sapona was a concrete-hulled cargo steamer built in 1911 by Henry Ford for use in World War I. The ship was intended to transport troops and supplies to Europe, but the war ended before it could be put into service. Instead, the Sapona was sold to a shipping company and used to transport goods between Florida and the Bahamas.
During the Prohibition era, the Sapona was used by bootleggers to transport illegal liquor from the Bahamas to the United States. In 1924, the U.S. government seized the ship and sold it to a salvage company, which stripped it of its valuable metal fittings and left the hull to rot.
Today, the remains of the S.S. Sapona rest just off the coast of Bimini in the Bahamas. The concrete hull is still visible above the waterline, and the wreck has become a popular destination for snorkelers and scuba divers. I dived this shipwreck in 2012.
Over the years, the Sapona has been used for various purposes, including as a target for bombing practice during World War II and as a location for music videos and fashion shoots.
Despite its decay and deterioration, the S.S. Sapona remains an intriguing relic of a bygone era. Its history as a warship, a cargo vessel, and a tool of the bootlegging trade makes it a fascinating piece of maritime history.
This post was inspired by Photos by Jez’s Water Water Everywhere photo challenge.