In 1937, the SS Monte Carlo, dubbed a ‘sin ship‘, capsized after it got devastated by a storm. It went ashore at a beach in Coronado, California, and it remained there adrift ever since.
In the vessel, unlawful bets, harlotry, and parties with unlimited liquor took place. It welcomed around 15,000 guests every week, serving gangsters and their molls who paid for pleasure with dirty money.
After the mishap, however, no one claimed ownership of the sin ship.
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Rumor has it the wreckage might still hold silver coins and gold within, worth up to $150,000 (about PHP 7,800,000). It’s plausible, given that it made a yearly profit of $3 million ($52 million today or about PHP 2.7 billion) per year during its glory days.
Mobsters established the boat to evade the laws prohibiting the illicit activities it patronized. This sin ship was not the only illicit craft at the time, but it sure was the largest one.
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Eight decades after the ship ran aground, the SS Monte Carlo’s remnants became more exposed due to El Niño. In 2016, beach-goers came across exposed portions of the 90-meter-long ship.
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Joe Ditler, Coronado Museum of History & Art’s executive director, shared with NBC San Diego:
“The ship was anchored in international waters to avoid U.S. laws. People searching for [redacted], [redacted] or bootleg whiskey would take smaller boats out to the “sin ship” for a night of revelry. Evangelists throughout San Diego County and Southern California devoted their whole sermons to sin ships, ‘May God let forth His wrath!’” When it did break moorings and crashed, they took credit.”
Ditler added that a man once told him he saw silver dollars cluttered all over the boat’s flooring.