First investigated in 1986 by the North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Branch, this exposed wreck, just 200 yards off the Nag's Head pier, is thought to be the tugboat, Explorer. The seagoing tug was built in Savannah, GA in 1919. It was lost on December 12, 1919 while in tow and without cargo. It had a wooden hull, triple expansion engine, and lies in about 20 feet of water.
Annual Report of the Operations of the United States Life-Saving Service for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1920:
From: W.E. Griffith, managing agent, Division of Operations, United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation, Norfolk, VA
To: The Commandant
This is to acquaint you with the ready response we get from our Coast Guard cutter Manning, stationed here. We have had a number of occasions to request her services this winter, and they have been invariably met with ready compliance. In regard to this we note a few of the occasions, viz, steamship Coweta, steamship Western Ocean, steamship Calvares, steamship Kangi, steamship West Totant, and tug Traveler.
In this connection we desire to note that the two tugs Traveler and Explorer broke away from the towing vessel while being towed up the coast, and, while the Explorer drifted on the beach and was lost, by reason of the prompt and skillful services of the Manning the Traveler was picked up and towed into Hampton Roads and thereby saved.
We take pleasure in presenting this report to your attention and record.