Tags: lake ontario | 1868 | schooner | wreck

Lake Ontario 1868 Schooner Wreck, 'Deadly Cargo' Found

Image: Lake Ontario 1868 Schooner Wreck, 'Deadly Cargo' Found

One of the ship's two masts that snapped off can be seen. (shipwreckworld via Youtube)

Thursday, 30 Jun 2016 07:11 AM

A Canadian schooner sunk by its own cargo in Lake Ontario nearly 150 years ago has been discovered by a team of underwater explorers, reported The Associated Press.

The Royal Albert was found in deep water off Fair Haven, 35 miles northwest of Syracuse. The 104-foot vessel was carrying 285 tons of railroad iron that shifted in rough conditions, bursting the ship's seams, said the western New York-based team of Jim Kennard, Roger Pawlowski and Roland Stevens. 

The crew survived the August 1868 sinking by getting into a small boat and making it to shore.

The wreck was found in mid-June using side-scan sonar, Kennard said. Video images taken by a remotely-operated vehicle helped identify the wreck as the Royal Albert, the only two-masted schooner known to have sunk off Fair Haven, he said.

Built in 1858 in Oakville, Ontario, the schooner departed Oswego on Aug. 9, 1868, headed to Toledo, Ohio, on Lake Erie, via Canada's Welland Canal. Kennard said the Royal Albert was only a few miles into its westward voyage when lake conditions turned rough, causing the cargo to shift and break apart the hull. The crew barely had time to scramble into a small boat as the ship sank, he said.

Video of the wreck shows both masts toppled over and some of the railroad rails can be seen in the aft hold, Kennard said. While the discovery isn't as significant as some of the many others the New York team has made during Lake Ontario explorations in recent years, Kennard said the find offers a glimpse into shipping methods and manifests in the post-Civil War period.

"It's essentially typical of how goods were being shipped and the kind of goods being shipped," he said. "The heavier commodities couldn't be shipped through the canals on canal boats."

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
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A Canadian schooner sunk by its own cargo in Lake Ontario nearly 150 years ago has been discovered by a team of underwater explorers.
lake ontario, 1868, schooner, wreck
302
2016-11-30
Thursday, 30 Jun 2016 07:11 AM
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