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Great Lakes Shipwreck of 1803 Is 2nd Oldest Intact Vessel Found

Image: Great Lakes Shipwreck of 1803 Is 2nd Oldest Intact Vessel Found

Intact remains of The Washington. (Screengrab of ShipWreckWorld video via Youtube)
 

By    |   Thursday, 18 Aug 2016 06:49 AM

A Great Lakes shipwreck dating back to 1803 is believed to be the second oldest vessel found intact in the lakes.

The 53-foot sloop The Washington was last seen on Nov. 3, 1803, after leaving Kingston, Ontario with five men and various cargoes on board, according to the National Museum of the Great Lakes. But the ship never made it to its destination of Niagara, Ontario after sinking in Lake Ontario during a gale, noted The Toledo Blade.

The wreck was found in deep water in June near Oswego, New York but the museum told The Blade the news wasn't confirmed until July that the wreckage was actually the Washington.

"The Washington was built near what is now Erie, Pennsylvania in 1797," said the museum. "A sloop is a small, single-masted vessel that was used mostly in coastal trading. The Washington was used on Lake Erie for several years, and then was sold to Canadian merchants in 1800. They wanted the vessel for use on Lake Ontario – so the Washington was pulled out of the water and dragged across the portage road around Niagara Falls."

The museum said a search crew led by Jim Kennard discovered the shipwreck.

Kennard and fellow searchers Roger Pawlowski, and Roland "Chip" Stevens also found the oldest shipwreck ever discovered on the Great Lakes in 2008, the HMS Ontario, a British military vessel that sank in Lake Ontario off the New York shoreline in 1780, said The Blade.

"This one is very special," Kennard told The Associated Press about the discovery of the Washington. "We don't get too many like this."

More than 200 ships are thought to be at the bottom of Lake Ontario, noted The Blade, and over the past 236 years, it's believed that more than 6,000 ships have either been wrecked, burned, or sunk on the Great Lakes.

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A Great Lakes shipwreck dating back to 1803 is believed to be the second oldest vessel found intact in the lakes.
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2016-49-18
Thursday, 18 Aug 2016 06:49 AM
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