Ghost Ship in Petersburg, Kentucky

9:05 PM

Lead Photographer Michael and Videographer Jonathan traveled to Petersburg, Kentucky on October 1st, 2015 in search of a piece of history.  They were not disappointed when they found the Circle Line V, also know as "The Ghost Ship" in the shallow waters off the Ohio River.


Approximately 20 miles down the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Ohio rests this beautiful piece of history.  Launched on April 12th, 1902 in Wilmington, Delaware, she was named the Celt.  She was a luxury yacht that was steamed powered and measured 186 feet in length.  She was one of the most desired vessels to be on in her time.

In July of 1917, the Celt was rented from her owner by the U.S. Navy.  The Navy quickly renamed her the USS Sachem (SP 192).  Her mission: Sink approaching German U-Boats with depth charges.  She was also armed with multiple machine guns to counterattack torpedoes from every angle.  She was safely returned to her owner in November of 1918.  She kept her new name and was used as a private and commercial fishing vessel near Brooklyn, New York.

In 1932, the Great Depression was in full stride and she was sold to a new owner at the price of $2.00 in order for the previous owner to be able to purchase food for his family.  She remained with that new owner for 10 years until the U.S. Navy sought her out again.

In July of 1942, the U.S. Navy rented her again.  This time naming her the USS Phenakite (PYc-25).  She was used as a training patrol vessel for the first few months, then reported to Key West Harbor where she patrolled for a few months before becoming the official patrol boat of Long Island Sound in New York, where she guarded and patrolled until the end of WWII.

She was then renamed Sightseer and was used as a tour vessel for those in the New York City waters.  The company Circle Line quickly purchased her when they saw that the income in which she was taking in may be a great benefit to their organization.  They purchased Sightseer and remained her Circle Line V.  She continued to give the same New York tours under her new name and management until 1982 when Circle Line parked her at an abandoned pier in New Jersey.

In 1982, Circle Line cut the Circle Line V from their fleet of vessels due her small size and the demand being placed upon Circle Line for bigger and better vessels.  She sat for 4 years.  In early 1986 a man from Cincinnati, Ohio by the name of Robert Miller purchased the Circle Line V for $7,500.  It took Miller 10 days to repair the vessel and have it legally sea-worthy.  In late July, just after giving numerous tours in the New York and New Jersey waters, Miller and his small crew steered the Circle Line V toward Northern Kentucky.  It would prove to be the ships final voyage.  After traveling through the Great Lakes, down the Mississippi River, and onto the Ohio River, Miller turned his ship into a small creek just outside of Cincinnati, Ohio on the Kentucky side of the river.  Miller had recently purchased a plot of land in Northern Kentucky and anchored his ship in the small creek, tying the vessel to large trees on both sides with steel cables.  The ship would never sail again.

It is said that Miller and his small crew still haunt the abandoned ship and guard it from those who attempt to steal the metal from within her walls for scrap.  Although this is not confirmed, and no deaths or missing people have been reported since Miller and his crew departed the vessel, you have to wonder how the (almost) 114-year-old vessel still stands strong.

Many have photographed the Circle Line V from the grounds surrounding her, but we were fortunate enough to be able to enter the vessel via a steel cable hanging from her side.  The photographs below are just a glimpse of the magnificent beauty this aging vessel possesses.



See where it says Circle Line on her left side?

Notice the steel cable that was mentioned earlier.




Look at the different colors due to different water levels!







The stairs that led to her upper deck for fine dining and the perfect view.







The stairs to the lower level








Notice how there is no vegetation on this side due to no sunlight.










The camera is straight.  It's the vessel sinking into the mud at an angle.

You could sit here and hear the folks on the upper deck dancing as their feet moved across the floor above you.

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