Saturday, June 14, 2008

The "holy grail"

Shipwreck hunters Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville are at it again, this time uncovering the wreck of HMS Ontario, a British warship that went down on Lake Ontario way back in 1780, at the height of the American Revolution.

The Ontario was on its way from Fort Niagara to Oswego, New York, when she disappeared in a sudden storm on October 31, 1780. About 130 people, including her crew, some British soldiers, and even around thirty American prisoners went to the bottom with the ill-fated Ontario that day.

"It's the holy grail of Great Lakes wrecks," Kennard told a reporter this week.

At 228 years of age, the Ontario is certainly the oldest identified wreck on the Great Lakes. She lies in complete darkness and bone-chilling cold about 150 metres below the surface of Lake Ontario. Kennard and Scoville were shocked at her state of preservation when they first found her a few months ago. She rests on the muddy bottom at about a 45-degree angle with her masts upright and, reportedly, even intact glass in some of her windows.

Kennard and Scoville are experienced divers who hunt Great Lakes shipwrecks as a hobby. They spent three years searching for the Ontario.

You can read the full story, from today's Toronto Star, here.

I've written about two other Kennard-Scoville finds, the Orcadian and the Milan, previously. Click on the ship names to read these posts.

No comments: