Researchers explore shipwrecks near San Francisco

Federal researchers are exploring several underwater sites where ships sank while navigating the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush.

Over the past week, a team from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration used a remote controlled underwater vehicle, equipped with sonar and , to examine and record the historic shipwrecks.

NOAA officials are conducting an archaeological survey of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary, a 1,300-square-mile region where they believe more than 300 ships have wrecked.

The Associated Press accompanied the NOAA team on research boat Friday, when they explored the underwater remains of Selja, a 380-foot cargo steamship that sank west of Point Reyes on Nov. 22, 1910, after it collided with another ship.

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