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The Warren Wreck

The Warren Wreck, located at about 170 feet of depth off The Warren Wreck, Lake Crescentof ambulance point in Lake Crescent, is an amazing dive back into history.  Blanch and Russell Warren were returning home from Port Angeles on July 3rd, 1929 to be with their sons for the 4th of July.  They never made it home, disappearing without a trace, and leaving a mystery that took nearly 75 years to solve.

Highway 101 was a treacherous road along the southern shore of Lake Crescent back in the day.  It was long suspected that the Warren's car had slid off the road into the lake, but numerous attempts to drag the lake, as well as exploratory dives had failed to turn up their vehicle. 

The Warren boys,  Charles and Frank were only 12 and 14 when their parents disappeared.  They had a hard life, teased that their parents had run off and both died tragically without knowing what had really happened to Mom and Dad.

The Warren's 1927 Chevrolet is half buried with rocks.Fast forward to 2001, and we have Bob Caso, a former diver that keeps hounding Dan Pontbraind, a Ranger for the Olympic National Park, to continue the search for the Warren's 1927 Chevrolet.  Evidence gathered in 1929 suggested the wreck had happened on Madrona Point, but there was no "Madrona Point" on any of the maps of the Lake.   A fortunate glance up the cliff near "Meldrim Point" (aka Ambulance Point) from a boat, revealed an old Madrona tree hiding among the fir trees.

The search began in earnest near ambulance point (mile marker 223), and in 2002, the Park Service Dive Team found the Warren's 1927 Chevrolet in 170 feet of water, just East of the point.  Human remains were discovered nearby by John Rawlings in 2004, which DNA testing later proved to be those of Russell Warren.

Today, the car sits on a very steep slope, with the top of the car down hill.  The bottom of the car is upslope and is more than half covered with rocks, making the vehicle very hard to spot from above.  However, swimming along at about 165' the wreck is easily located, and the clear waters of the lake make this a very nice dive.Top view of the Warren Wreck in Lake Crescent

Diving the Warren Wreck requires a permit from the National Park Service and is just a bit too deep for recreational divers.  There is a nice staging area and good parking right at "Ambulance Point".  Be safe and have a great dive on an interesting bit of Northwest History.

More information on diving the Warren and Steele wrecks can be found in Northwest Wreck Dives.

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