1894 Ironton Shipwreck Found at the Bottom of Lake Huron

Sonar image of Ironton sitting upright, with all three masts intact, at the bottom of Lake Huron.

sonar image Ironton Sitting upright, with all three masts intact, on the bottom of Lake Huron.
picture: Ocean Exploration Fund / NOAA

Researchers from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the state of Michigan, and the Ocean Exploration Trust have found a long-lost sailing ship called the Ironton Resting at the bottom of Lake Huron.

191 feet (58 meters) long Ironton Sailing across the inky black waters of Lake Huron in the early morning hours of September 1894, he collided with a freighter called the Ohio. Ironton She sank, with only two of her seven crew alive to tell the tale, and was not seen again for over a century. This week, NOAA announced that Ironton It was found using sonar imaging in 2019. Researchers located the ship hundreds of feet below the surface, sitting upright on the lake bottom, with its three masts and rigging appearing relatively undamaged.

“The discovery shows how we can use the past to create a better future,” said Jeff Gray, Superintendent of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, at NOAA. press release. “Using this cutting edge technology, we have not only located the original shipwreck that has been missing for over a century, but we are also learning more about one of our nation’s most important natural resources – the Great Lakes. This research will help protect Lake Huron and its rich history.”

Ironton sits at the bottom of Lake Huron.

Ironton sits at the bottom of Lake Huron.
picture: NOAA/UNCW Subsea Vehicle Program

According to NOAA, Ironton was traveling with moon lightboth behind Kershaw The three left Ashtabula, Ohio, on their way to Marquette, Michigan. At 12:30 a.m. on Sept. 26 1894, The ship’s main engine failed while being pushed by strong winds moon light And Ironton towards the crippled ship. The crew is on board moon light Cut the holding line Ironton to KershawAnd Ironton I drifted away into the darkness of the night.

At the mercy of the Lake Huron winds, Ironton It veered off course and collided with it Ohioa steamer carrying 1,000 tons of grain to Ogdensburg, New York from Duluth, Minnesota. IrontonThe bow tore a hole 12 feet (3.6 m) in Ohiohull f Ironton She drifted for an hour before sinking beneath the waves.

Departure and arrival point for Kershaw, Moonlight, Ironton (blue circles), and Ohio (red triangles).

Departure and arrival point for Kershaw, Moonlight, Ironton (blue circles), and Ohio (red triangles).
clarification: Gizmodo/Datawrapper

Researchers from NOAA’s Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary set out to search for both. Ohio And Ironton In 2017, and I found out Ohio Submerged under 300 feet (91 meters of water). In 2019, NOAA partnered with Robert Ballard’s Ocean Exploration Fund to find it Ironton Using a piece of technology called BEN, or “Bathys Explorer and Navigator,” a self-driving boat that can use sonar to map the bottom of the lake.

Using sonar imaging and knowing the location OhioThe team of researchers soon finds a ship, along with historical wind and weather data from the time of the collision. After observing the wreck with a submarine, they confirmed that the wreck was Ironton. NOAA says Thunder Bay National Park plans to create educational materials and exhibits based on the Ironton. Divers can also visit the wreck site.

“Discovery Ironton “It inspires us to keep exploring,” said Gray. “We will continue to map Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and this research will eventually lead to more discoveries about the Great Lakes and the unique collection of shipwrecks that lie on the lake floor.”

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