The PORTA ALLEGRA was build by the Ellicott Machine Company in 1909. It was one of four dredges built by them to work on the Panama Canal. Being it was designed to operate in the saftey of confined waters, it was outfitted with additional stabilization to make the ocean going journey from Maryland to Panama. Unfourtunately the additional support was not enough to save it form a storm in the early morning hours on December 13, 1909. Crews on the tug TORMENTOR attempted to rescue the men on the PORTA ALLEGRA but 4 men on the dredge went down with the ship. One crew member from the TORMENTOR died in the rescue attempt also. The wreck was know for decades as Ed's Lobster Wreck after Captain Ed Wolfe, who was the first to take divers to the site. In 2000 a local diver Bryan Tate recovered a winch with a manufacturers plate (Ellicott Machine Co.) and a number "4300". The PORTA ALLEGRA was contract number 4300 from the Ellicott Machine Co. This number identified the wreck site.


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