Two 100-year-old shipwrecks found in Lake Huron

Stormy Lake Huron Brian Lasenby / Shutterstock

Around 90 meters below in the deep, cold waters of Lake Huron, maritime archeologists have discovered two shipwrecks that are more than a century old.

Last week, the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary announced that it discovered two vessels, named the “Ohio” and “Choctaw”, approximately 25 kilometers northeast of Presque Isle, Michigan, in Lake Huron. The wrecks were initially found using advanced sonar technology in an expedition this past May.

The 62-meter-long Ohio (pictured above) was a wooden bulk carrier that sank in 1894 while transporting a cargo of grain from Duluth, Minnesota, to Ogdensburg, New York. It crashed into the Ironton, a schooner being towed by a steamer.

Built in 1892, the Choctaw was an 81-meter steel-hulled straight back steamer with unique rounded sides resembling a 20th century submarine. Although it was designed to navigate extremely rough conditions, it sank in 1915 after colliding with another vessel.

In both collisions, all crew members from both the Ohio and Choctaw were rescued, but five died from the schooner Ironton. Researchers hope to discover the remains of the Ironton in future explorations since it’s believed that it sank close to the Ohio.

In an interview with the CBC, sanctuary superintendent Jeff Gray said that although they will not be releasing the exact co-ordinates of either the Ohio or Choctaw until more data has been gathered, in the future they hope to open both wrecks up for public diving.

“Both are magnificently persevered. They’re really time capsules sitting there full intact,” said sanctuary superintendent in an interview with the CBC.


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