A long lost ship with local ties has been found resting on the bottom of Lake Superior, nearly 60 years after it went down.
Shipwreck hunters have found the wreckage of the SS Scotiadoc, a Great Lakes grain freighter which sank in 1953, just off Trowbridge Island nearly 32 kilometres from Thunder Bay.
The ship, a former member of the Paterson fleet, was discovered in nearly 260 metres of water, making it one of the deepest Great Lakes shipwrecks to be found.
The find was made by the American shipwreck hunting crew of Jerry Eliason, Kraig Smith and Ken Merryman.
The shipwreck was confirmed to be the Scotiadoc once cameras they lowered to the bottom of Lake Superior brought back images of the ship with the name clearly emblazoned on the side.
Former CEO of the marine division of N.M. Paterson and Sons Robert Paterson said the discovery serves as a history lesson.
“It makes you delve back into the history,” Paterson said. “I think it’s interesting that you can now pinpoint on a map now where these wrecks are.”
Local shipping enthusiast Gene Onchulenko has extensively studied the history of the Paterson fleet, and said the find brings closure.
“I was kind of excited because it brings an end to the mystery,” he said. “We sort of knew where it was, but to bring it to the public domain so everybody knows is another chapter in the history of the Paterson fleet.”
Onchulenko explained the vessel, which was built in 1904 as the Martin Mullen, was acquired by Paterson in 1947 to help alleviate their shortage of shipping vessels due to the Second World War.
He described the underwater footage of the wreckage shot by Eliason’s crew to be “haunting.”
The boat sank on June 20, 1953 after it left port for Prescott, Ont. Just a couple hours into its voyage the Scotiadoc collided with another freighter, the Burlington. Visibility was poor on that evening as there was a dense fog and driving rain.
The Burlington, a 138 metre freighter, slammed into the starboard side of the Scotiadoc just off the tip of the Sleeping Giant. One crew member was lost from the Scotiadoc as a result.
The two ships had seen each other on radar and had their fog horns blaring but did not make any attempt to contact one another.
Click here to report a typo or error
You must log in to add comments.
Create a new account
Remember me next time.