The Senateur Duhamel is a 165 foot long trawler and is resting in 65 feet of water. It is about 7 miles southeast of the Beaufort Inlet and it usually takes about an hour to get to the site after leaving the inlet. The wreck is mostly flat except for the boilers, which are the highest parts. Deck plates, conduits, pipes, and concrete slabs are scattered about the wreck.
Due to the closeness to the shoals, the visibility averages 10-15 feet. The bottom is silty and can be stirred up very easily by a diver's fins. The water temperature is usually in the upper 70's and low 80's during the summer. Sheephead, spadefish, sea bass, grouper, and flounder can be found on this wreck.
After the United States entered World War II, the British sent over the Senateur Duhamel to protect conveys from German U-Boats. On May 6, 1942, the Senateur Duhamel was headed toward the Beaufort Inlet in a light haze. She spotted another ship, the USS Semmes, about a mile away and flashed the message "What Ship?" The light temporarily blinded the crew of the USS Semmes. Before a reply could be sent, the bow of the USS Semmes rammed into the Senateur Duhamel amidships. The USS Semmes called over to see if the Senateur Duhamel wanted to send any one over before they backed away. The Senateur Duhamel didn't want to transfer anyone over and the USS Semmes backed away to a distance of a half of a mile. The USS Roper, a destroyer was called for assistance.
When they called roll on the USS Semmes, they discovered everyone present and accounted for, with one extra man. J. Woods had climbed aboard from the Senateur Duhamel while the two ships were still connected. The Executive Officer and J. Woods took a boat to go and search for the Senateur Duhamel. They reached the Senateur Duhamel just in time to watch it slip beneath the water. The masts stuck up out of the water, marking the location. The Executive Officer picked up all of the crew and took them to the USS Roper. No one from either ship was killed in the collision.
In 1944, the Coast Guard Cutter Vigilant blasted the Senateur Duhamel with 2 tons of dynamite because it was a navigational hazard. They also wire-dragged the Senateur Duhamel to remove any remaining high spots.