on June 20Th 1932, this is not a shipwreck but, is a steel
drilling barge that sunk due to an explosion on her and now
rests in 75ft of water in the shipping lanes of the St.
Lawrence Seaway. After following the marker buoy you come to
a shoal after following the shoal you can reach the barge in
55ft of water, then continue to explore the rest of her
upside down remains.
Photo Of Rich Micus VP Of The
Northeast Aquanauts Dive Club
Hanging Onto The Americas Anchor
This wreck always
has a strong current present on her and this wreck is not
for the beginner diver due to it being in the shipping lanes
and her current but, it is a nice dive for those with the
experience to dive her.
The Comet has a rather sad story. It was built in
Portsmouth, Ontario, in 1848, it was over 174 ft long and
had its first accident when it hit a shoal in the St.
Lawrence River and sank. The boat was refloated, repaired,
and was once again back in service. Then, it had its second
accident in November 1849, near Toronto, when a steam pipe
exploded killing two persons and wounding another badly. The
third accident killed eight persons when the boiler exploded
at Oswego in 1851. The boat sank and was once more refloated
and renamed The Mayflower. It took back its original name,
the Comet, in 1854.
Finally, on May 15, 1861, it collided with the schooner The
Exchange. It was hit at the helm and sank taking with it 2
of her crew.. Six divers found the wreck in October 1967,
after searching for it for 5 years.
The Comet now sits in 70 to 80 ft of water upright half
intact with her decking broken mid-ship and her deck planks
scattered about like a junk heap. The paddle wheel is intact
still and a nice place for picture takers to get a nice shot
of their dive buddy.
"Connie" located in the old canal lies upstream from
Cardinal, Ontario. This is a favorite dive site for Canadian
& US Divers this is a shore dive with ample parking
for those that want to visit her. The Conestoga was 252 ft
long, 36 ft wide and sank on May 22, 1922 she lies in 30 ft
of water and has a strong current present on her but, by
divers swimming inside her remains one can enjoy a current
free dive while exploring her interior.
Louie's wife Gina (Center) with bottles found in the area of
the Conestoga Shipwreck. Photo courtesy Louie Schreiner.
Bottles found by Louie Schreiner in the area around the
Conestoga Shipwreck site.
Empress of Ireland
tragedy almost equal to the Titanic's unfolded in the
fog-shrouded St. Lawrence River in the spring of 1914, only
a few months before the outbreak of the Great War.
Ironically, had both ships involved exercised less caution,
the accident would likely not have happened.
The culprit was fog, but a fog peculiar to the St. Lawrence
at this time of year, when the warm air of late spring
encounters a river chilled by icy melted water. The two main
actors in the drama were the Canadian Pacific steamship
Empress of Ireland, outbound from Quebec, and the Norwegian
collier Storstad, steaming upriver and loaded to the
waterline. Their stage was a stretch of water just east of
Rimouski near the St. Lawrence's south shore, where the
river opens up and navigation becomes simple and safer. The
Empress, having just dropped her pilot at Father Point, was
still quite close to shore. The Storstad, about to pick up
her pilot for the voyage up river to Montreal, was hugging
the coastline. The ships sighted each other near 2:00 a.m.
on May 29, until then a calm, clear night. On the bridge of
the Empress of Ireland,
Henry Kendall guessed that the approaching ship was roughly
eight miles away, giving him ample time to cross her bow
before he set his course for more open water. When he judged
he was safely beyond the collier's path, he did so. If he
held his new course, the two ships should pass starboard
side to starboard side, comfortably apart. Movements after
he had executed this maneuver, a creeping bank of fog
swallowed the Norwegian ship, then the Empress.
nothing like the Titanic in terms of size and elegance, the
Empress of Ireland was the class of the Liverpool-Quebec
City run that linked Canadian Pacific's steamships with its
transcontinental railroad. Celebrities on board were few,
notably the actor Laurence Irving, famous son of the
legendary Henry, and his wife, the actress Mabel Hackney,
returning from a successful Canadian tour. They and most of
the other passengers, which included roughly 170 members of
the Salvation Army heading to a big convention in London,
were by this time of night sound asleep. So were most of the
by the fog and the proximity of the other ship, Captain
Kendall gave three blasts on his whistle, indicating to the
other ship that he was ordering his engines full astern.
Soon the 14,191 ton liner had slowed to a crawl, but Kendall
kept her bow pointing on the course he had chosen and waited
for a clear sign that the other ship was safely past. The
next thing he saw were two masthead lights materializing out
of the murk to starboard and heading straight at him. The
two ships were already too close to avoid a collision, but
Kendall ordered a sharp turn to starboard in a vain attempt
to swing his stern enough away from the approaching vessel
that it would deliver a glancing blow. The impact when it
came was deceptively gentle.
Storstad's bow, however, "had gone between the liner's steel
ribs as smoothly as an assassin's knife," wrote James Croall
in his account of the disaster. And the wound was fatal.
Water poured into the starboard side of the ship so fast
that most of the people sleeping in starboard cabins didn't
have a chance. There was no time for the prerogatives of
class to be tested, beyond the simple reality that residents
of the higher-up first-class cabins were more likely to have
some chance of survival. As the Empress of Ireland listed
sharply to starboard, water began rushing into portholes
left open despite the rule requiring their closure once a
voyage was under way. The list quickly became so extreme
that only five or six boats could be successfully launched.
After 10 minutes, the liner lurched and lay on her side with
hundreds of passengers perched on her hull, a situation that
momentarily seemed "like sitting on a beach watching the
tide come in," according to one survivor.
A mere 14 minutes after the collision, she sank.
by the time the last nearly frozen survivor had been fished
from the water, the death toll was staggering. Of the 1,477
on board, 1,015 lost their lives, 840 were passengers, 175
crew members eight more than had died when the Titanic sank.
What had happened?
to the first mate of the Storstad, is he did not awaken
Captain Anderson ( Picture On Left ) till after all
the crucial decisions had been made, he and his colleagues
on the bridge had distinctly seen the Empress of Ireland's
red navigational light just before the fog closed in. If
that were true, that red light meant her portside was
showing, which signaled that the big ship had turned to pass
them to portside. And this is what the men on the Storstad's
bridge assumed. After a few minutes groping blindly forward,
the Storstad's mate grew nervous and ordered the collier to
turn to starboard, away from what he now presumed to be the
other ship's course. In reality he was turning the Storstad
into the Empress's side.
Kendall, who had been thrown off his bridge when the ship
lurched onto its beam ends, swore to his dying day that he
had altered course cleanly and maintained it faithfully as
the fog closed in. He always blamed Norwegian negligence for
the disaster. "You have sunk my ship!" were
practically the first words he uttered when he was pulled on
board the Storstad to encounter her skipper. But perhaps his
helmsman had swung her too far before she settled in on her
proper course. Perhaps, as one of his crew later testified,
there was a problem with the steering that caused his ship
to wobble unpredictably on her course. Or perhaps the many
lights of the brightly lit passenger vessel confused those
on board the Storstad. No one will ever know for sure. For
certain, fog had once again proved to be a treacherous
enemy. Yet had the two ships simply kept their courses and
held their speeds, they would have passed each other without
as it did so soon after the sinking of the Titanic, the loss
of the Empress of Ireland underlined the difficulty of
building a ship that couldn't sink, even of building a ship
guaranteed to sink so slowly that rescue was inevitable.
True, the Storstad was the worst imaginable ship that could
collide with the liner. Her longitudinal bracing, designed
to break through ice, made her a lethal weapon; the fact
that she was fully loaded meant she punctured the Empress
well below the waterline. (She penetrated the liner to a
depth of at least 25 feet and left a gaping a hole at least
14 feet wide.) The Empress sank too fast for her safety
features to be fully operational. She had enough lifeboats
for all her passengers and crew but could not launch them in
time. Many of her watertight doors, operated manually, could
not be closed with the ship listing sharply and water
despite the scale of the tragedy, it never achieved anything
like the Titanic's fame or enduring fascination. The Empress
of Ireland was not a particularly famous or fashionable
ship, and she sank so soon before the outbreak of the war
that attention soon shifted to graver matters. The
commission of inquiry, chaired by the same Lord Mersey who
presided over the hearings into the sinking of both the
Titanic and the Lusitanian, was held in Quebec City, far
from the international limelight. But the lessons from the
Empress of Ireland's demise would have to be relearned
barely 40 years later during the sinking of the Andrea Doria,
when once again fog proved more than a match for the latest
in seagoing technology.
Exploring the Empress of Ireland
by Robert Ballard
the Empress of Ireland lies in about 130 feet of water,
well within the reach of scuba divers. But, because
the St. Lawrence is a frigid 34 degrees Fahrenheit even in
summer and has tidal currents that run up to five knots and
can limit visibility, this is a dive for experts.
Nevertheless, the Empress has been visited hundreds of times
since it was "rediscovered" in the mid-1980s. Some divers
have treated the wreck with respect and increased our
knowledge of her tragedy; others have left a trail of
follow a highway that was blasted into the heart of the ship
in the summer of 1914, mere weeks after the disaster.
Canadian Pacific hired a salvage company to retrieve the
first-class mail, the purser's safe and $150,000 in silver
bullion (more than $2 million today). Descending through the
explosion hole down to the first-class baggage and mail
room, one will encounter a dangerous tangle of wire and an
interior debris field of shattered suitcases and their
ship rests on a gravel, sediment-free river bottom, the
insides of the Empress of Ireland are half-hidden by the
silt steadily deposited by the St. Lawrence River over the
years. Because the ship rests at so sharp an angle, the
starboard side of every interior room is buried, along with
all the items set loose as the ship sank. In the mail room,
one diver discovered a whole box of neatly bundled and tied
newspapers, the paper still white, the type still readable,
dated May 27, 1914, the day before the ship left port. The
next time he returned, the silt had shifted, burying the
ship's dining saloon, oak chairs and tables appear to float
in the silt like flotsam and the remains of light fixtures
dangle from the steeply angled ceiling. In the adjoining
pantry, most of the first-class china that was still in its
racks as late as the early 1980s is now gone, as are most
other moveable objects in
the accessible regions of the
wreck, including the ship's bell, one of its propellers, the
main bridge telegraph and the telemeter.
Sadly, some divers have even taken the bones of the more
than 1,000 people who died when the Empress of Ireland went
One of the oldest shipwrecks dove in the Seaway this wreck
served both the French & British. The Iroquois also know as
the "Anson" was built in 1759 and sits near the foot of the
Niagara Shoal in 80 ft of water, a mild current is present
on the wreck and she is a joy to explore.
This wreck was referred to us by a local dive group official
as "Two Sticks In The Mud" this person couldn't have
spent much time diving her remains to have given her such a
bad rap. I found her to be a wonderful high ribbed
structure with all her ribs remaining, this is what divers
envision an old shipwreck to look like after many years
below the waves. The history alone on such a wreck makes it
a must dive shipwreck
while visiting The Thousand
Below Pictures were taken by
Dennis Johnson while
Joe Radomski &
filmed The Iroquois.
Islander wreck sits on 50 feet offshore from this building
in Alexandra Bay. Photo by Dan Berg
side-wheel steamship is one of The Northeast Aquanaut Club
Members favorite shore dives. This wreck site is
located in Alexandria Bay, NY and ample parking can be found
at the site, as well as park benches for divers to gear up
on. Some of The Islanders jobs before her sinking was
serving as a mail carrier and then taking people on river
boat tours. On September 16, 1909 while at dock the Islander
caught fire and burned sending her to the bottom. The wreck
can be reached in 15 ft of water and a diver will max out at
75 ft, she sits on a slight angle and is a wonderful dive
site. * A must do
dive while in the area*
this next bit of information not to dwell on the death of a
diver but, for someone to learn from this so,
it does not repeat itself to another. This was an
unnecessary death !
In July Of 2004
a diver lost his life on this relatively easy dive site. The diver was trying to
find artifacts by using a (DPV) an underwater scooter.
He was blowing holes under a part of the main wreckage.
(look at photo1 above)
You can clearly see the sediment against the wreckage and
the angle the wreck sits at. This mud and silt was then
removed from the starboard side of the wreckage taking away
all support from that side of the wreck thus, weakening the
wall of mud and debris that contoured that bank, using the (DPV).
The diver has now placed himself in an overhead environment
under the wreckage and mud bank , in the hole he has made.
(Remember This Wreck
Was Burnt To The Water Line)
making the wood soft and unstable, now
add all these factors together/
1-The removal of the wall of sediment (The
Contoured Bottoms Mud Bank)
2- The removal of support from the main
wreckage (The Sediment)
3- The fact that the ship was burnt to the
All of these things
caused the bank wall and wreckage to cave in
(Trapping the diver in his
An excerpt from our 2004
dive trip report....
last day of diving ended on a somber note for me as I dove
the Islander and came across the makeshift Shrine (I
assumed) that was left for the diver that had lost his life
on this wreck a few weeks ago. I swam past the spot where he
was trapped by the Wreckage and wondered how many times had
this guy dove this relatively shallow dive. Then a reality
check hit me; the sport that I love (that we all love) can
be a very unforgiving sport. All it takes is that one lapse
hearts goes out to this divers family!!!
Schwartz, Ed Slater, Mel Brenner and Steve Bielenda with
bottles recovered from the area around the Islander Wreck.
Diver Louie Schreiner writes
"I had the opportunity of running a 50
ft vessel from Clayton, Ny to Brockville, Ontario on a few
occasions during my years as a scuba diver. I will never
forget navigating the St. Lawrence Seaway with that 50ft
vessel with a single screw and on a windy day boy was that
fun and using only my hand held Garmin GPS and a few
It was some of the best
times I had on The St. Lawrence, seeing those super
tankers and cargo ship passing by me in the middle of the
night as I navigated the seaway so, that I could hit every
possible shipwreck for my scuba divers during our weeks on
One wreck that sticks out
in my head is the shipwreck called The Lillie Parsons. The
Lillie Parsons was built in Tonawanda, NY in 1868 as a
fore & aft rigged centerboard schooner, she was sailing
towards Brockville, Canada with a load of coal when she
ran into a sudden squall that shifted her cargo, pushing
the ship against Sparrow Island on Aug. 5th 1877.
After taking a pounding
while pinned against the island, she listed taking on
water and rolled sink the ship to the bottom where she
now lays upside down with her mast pointing toward the
channel and her cargo of coal scattered in and around the
find your way down to this wreck site a diver just needs
to anchor in the cove of Sparrow Island and swim in the
cove to the island finding the anchor of the shipwreck.
Now here's the catch, once you find that anchor and start
pulling yourself down the chain to the wreck site which is
in 70 ft of water at the bottom. You will find the
current to be very strong. If you let go of this anchor
chain you will find yourself going for a ride so, once you
get to the bottom stay low to the river bottom and use the
wreck to block the current when possible.
When we arrived on this
site, only half of the divers I had on our vessel made it
to the bottom the rest aborted the dive because they
FEARED THAT CHAIN and the current. I had to laugh at the
end of the day with all my divers because the first diver
to get on the wreck was my wife standing a whole 4`11 and
when she came up after spending an hour on the bottom
she looked at the faces of fear on some of our friends and
the jokes began for the rest of the day !
An added note:
While on the wreck, I was told that divers
for years would attempt to WALK THE KEEL by facing into
the strong current and try to walk the length of the keel
from stern to bow then, hitting the bottom, going back to
the stern to explore her interior. This is for the most
part an easy penetration dive but, ALWAYS REMEMBER that
proper training is always needed to go inside any
for WALKING THE KEEL my wife Gina and I were the
only divers in our group to complete this challenge and we
will remember it for the rest of our lives.
This is a fun wreck to
explore, you just have to pay close attention to the
current and not venture to far off the wrecksite towards
the channel. Remember, very large vessels pass by at times
so close you feel like you can reach out and touch them as
they go by while your anchored over this site."
Photo: A Diver
Exploring The Portside Of The Wreck site!
Photo Courtesy Of Ontario Scuba
For you GPS # collectors
the numbers are N44.33.378 / W75.43.151
Roy A. Jodrey was built in 1965 for the Canadian Algoma
Central Railway. The boat was loaded with 20,000 tons of
steel that was supposed to be delivered to the city of
Detroit. On November 20, 1974, the ship hit a shallow in the
Alexandria Bay that left such a tear in its keel that the
boat rolled over on itself and sank in less than four hours.
The captain tried to shipwreck the boat south of the Island
of Wellesley, but in vain. All 29 crewmembers survived.
In 1998, The United States Coast Guard supervised the
salvage of eight oil barrels from the Jodrey. Suspected to
be the key to several little mysteries in the Alexandria Bay
in July 1998, the coast guard hired an underwater contractor
to investigate the apparition of small rainbows above the
wreck. On August 7, divers found eight barrels of oil on the
stern at around 165 feet deep.
The Jodrey was a full size lake freighter (over 700 ft.
long) it was also a self unloading freighter.
When you first come on to the wreck you are in awe of her
Divers first descending onto the wreck come to a wall that
she sits below, it then drops off almost vertically from 5
ft. to around 230+ ft. Upon reaching the wreck one of the
first things to come into view is the bow railing and the
wheel house and ships mast. The mast is at about 150 ft. ,
as you descend to the main deck it is aprox. 200 ft. There
is plenty to see in the bow section it is also noted that
the wreck sits on a 40 to 45 degree list to starboard. If
you are so inclined you may travel along the port railing to
a max depth of 211 ft. where about mid ship there is a
fracture in the hull, as you continue along you will
eventually reach the stern. Along this railing you are like
a sail in the wind flying in a 3 to 4 knot current. In the
bow section there is visible damage to the hull both from
its collision with Pullman shoal and the damage caused by
its sliding down the vertical wall.
This dive is not for
the beginner the current on this wreck, plus the depths and
cold bottom temps make this a technical dive only!
Harvey J. Kendall
ship was launched on April 10,1892 in Marine City, Michigan
she was over 141ft long, 31ft wide this wooden steam barge
was converted to a self unloading freighter in 1917 at
The wreck sits in under 20 ft of water and is a nice
relaxing dive, you will spend much of it exploring her low
lying remains seeing railroad tracks, a large boiler and
various machinery. Also while exploring her you will swim in
very tall kelp like plants and at every turn you will
encounter various aquatic life that thrives on her.
The Keystorm is one of my favorite wrecks in the seaway, my
friend & dive buddy Joe Radomski had told me of her for
years and I just never got around to diving her till 2003. I
have to say after diving her I was hooked on the shipwreck.
This steel freighter lies west of Brockville and was built
in 1908 in Wellsend, England she was 256 ft long, 43ft wide
and was carrying 2230 tons of coal. On October 12,1912 and
the ship only being 4 years old, she crossed over Outer Scow
Island Shoal, after striking the shoal sank within minutes
bringing her to its watery grave.
wonderful thing about diving this wreck she offers divers of
all experience levels a chance at diving her. Divers can
reach her bow in 25ft of water and then following her down
to the stern in 115ft of water.
top left, Bridge Of The KeyStorm, Pic 2 Looking from her bow
down to the bridge, Pic 3 the Missing Anchor & Anchor Chain
( I Swear We Don`t Have It ) LOL, Pic 4 Mr. Carlos Negron
swimming to the pilots house, Pic 5 is ME with my hood
mounted light and Yellow Dog hanging below me, Finally The
VP Posing for the camera.
Above photos taken by
Kingshorn was a 130' barge that was carrying wheat in the
1890s she was a
steel hulled with wood planking and is situated just a
couple hundred yards from the dock in Rockport, this wreck
was refound in 1995 and is the source of much debate, some
no longer believe it is really the Kinghorn and
thoughts weigh that her true identity is the "Edith
Surwell". Well, at least it was until someone suggested
the Surwell (or Cirtwell) was a fishing tug
that has yet to be found, and that this particular wreck is
the Sophia (which actually lies not far away). Who's
to say until a positive piece of her identifies this
upright in 88' this is an aging steel hull with no
superstructure. It has several openings on the upper deck
(one reportedly from an anchor dropped a little too close to
the target) so there is a good deal of light penetration
into the hold which can be explored easily provided you have
good fining technique (if you don't you will be in the
middle of a silt storm and other divers may finally have a
use for the dive knives they have been carrying around for
years). The upper deck is collapsing at a steady rate, and
any penetration should be done with great caution if at all.
to the down-line is a "Canadian" toilet, still in relatively
good shape (this item which was clearly not original, has
since been removed). Plates and cups are scattered around
the upper deck and inside the hold on the stove, many having
reportedly been "returned" (read: planted) here (so if you
take one thinking you have a genuine artifact, you are most
likely sadly mistaken but other divers will take the
opportunity to laugh at you, and then turn you over to the
local constabularies since removing items from Ontario
wrecks is illegal).
Don't miss the ship's wheel lying on its side on top of the
stern, then you can find the windlass, bilge pump, stove and
rudder assembly which make for a decent amount to see. The
wheel is now devoid of all its wood, but a sizeable portion
of the steering gear is still attached and reaches nearly to
the bottom of the hull. A small stove what was once on the
deck, then in the hold, now appears to be missing entirely.
( Off Clayton, New Yorks Waterfront )
schooner The Maggie L was built in 1889 in Picton, Ontario
by a well known ship builder in the area called Redmond. On
June 1927 The Maggie L was struck by the steel freighter
(possibly The Keyvive) during that collision The Maggie had
her bow sheered right off her and she sunk quickly to a
depth of 75ft.
This wreck is not one of the best the area has to offer but,
has now created a legal battle for French Creek Marina &
Northeast Aquanauts after members of
The New York State Divers Association
took a report posted by
Captain Heinz Wahl & Myself on this very website and turned
it into a three ring circus...............Black & White
Photos Taken By Dennis Johnson August 2004
We first assumed that the anchor we saved from the bottom of
the seaway might have been The Maggie's lost anchor. After
retracting this statement realizing that the anchor could
never have belonged to her. These local divers called the
State of New York on us and stated we robbed an anchor from
a historical wreck site in The St. Lawrence Seaway.
Nothing further from the truth could have been stated.
Divers might even find The New York State Divers
Associations slogan funnier now that most of
Thanks To Rich Micus Underwater Photographer
Above Picture Is Of Gina Doing Her Deco Stop On "The Maggie
Great Lakes Shipwreck News & Rumor Fall 2003
By Brendon Baillod
In early 2003 the wreck of the 1889 three
masted schooner Maggie L off Clayton, NY was damaged by a
group of divers who removed the ship's anchor. The State of
New York, who ostensibly has stewardship of the wreck, has
yet to take any action.
Great Lakes Shipwreck News & Rumor Spring 2004
By Brendon Baillod
A correction to the last News & Rumor column is in order. It
was inaccurately reported that divers had stolen an anchor
from the schooner Maggie L. off Clayton, NY. The anchor in
question did not come from the Maggie L. Her anchor was
allegedly removed in 1973.
Northeast Aquanauts Thanks..... Brendon Baillod For His
the end of the 1800's the shipyards had eliminated building
sailing ships, due to the faster age of steam. The sailing
era was coming to a close. Those schooners still able to ply
the Great Lakes were used for the stressful, dirty loads of
coal, lumber, and minerals. The cargos placed massive stress
upon the ships, and their crews. The vessels became floating
deathtraps. The George A. Marsh was one of these vessels.
Muskegon, Michigan, in 1882. She was originally a U.S.
registered vessel (registration # 85727 U.S.), later to be
sold to Mr. J. Flint of Belleville, on April 17, 1914. He
changed her port of registry from "Michigan City" to
"Toronto" with the new #133750. The Marsh being a 135 ft
schooner and was now converted for the coal trade. Below is
the newspaper clipping of that tragic day.
Wednesday morning, August 8, 1917, the George A. Marsh was
caught in a bad storm while crossing Lake Ontario. She had
taken on a cargo of coal from Oswego which was purchased for
the Rockwood Hospital in Kingston. At around midnight the
ship's tired old timbers began to give way and the George A.
Marsh began to sink. Altogether there were fourteen people
on board. Captain John W. Smith had his wife and five
children. The mate, Neil McLennan, had his wife, baby, and
young nephew. There were three others in the crew. After
five hours of desperate struggle, the "George A. Marsh" was
lost. Two of the deckhands were the only survivors."
The Marsh now lies in 75 to 85 ft of water 2
miles from Pigeon Island. The wreck sits upright with the
mooring block on the starboard side. Items of interest are
numerous. Please use caution when diving this fragile, yet
intact, wreck. Proper buoyancy is a must to reduce
deterioration of this site.
Rick Jackson 1989
drawing of how The George A. Marsh looks today.
Rothesay was over 193 ft long 29' twin side wheeler was
launched in February 1867. She sank in February of 1867
after a collision with the Tug Myra, two of the tugs
crew where lost in the collision. In 1901 a group from the
Royal Military College in Kingston used this wreck for
explosives practice which flattened her mid section, though
stern and bow remain relatively intact. The bow section is
more intact, but the stern is in much better condition as
the decking is all still present.
Sights to see include the impressive paddlewheels, rudder,
boilers, and stack. One of Eastern Ontario's most famous
wreck sites, The Rothesay lies at the west edge of Prescott,
Ontario, south side of Highway #2. There should be a steel
drum garbage can painted as a dive flag (this is hard to
miss). A park/picnic area and staircase to the river's edge
leads you to a shore entry to follow the rope system to the
site. From the embankment you will see a buoy approximately
300 ft out, marking the actual wreck and a jug closer in
that is the beginning of the line.
The rope from shore meets Rothesay about the midsection near
the paddlewheels where you can still view the rocker arm and
paddles outlined. The bottom here is firm with weed growth
between Rothesay and the shore, however the site has little
current and remains an enjoyable visit. The bottom is at 30
feet and the deck at about 20 feet. Fishermen often troll
through this area and snag on weeds and the wreck. Watch out
for fishing line and remember to bring you dive knife.
in 1861 and launched on July 1861 at Three Mile Bay, NY as
the J.B.Penfield she was later renamed The A.E.Vickery and
is another favorite dive site in the area. This three masted
schooner was over 136ft long, 26 ft wide she sits upright
and intact right next to Rock Island Reef Light.
Divers must note a very strong current on the
surface and getting to the wreck requires divers to pull
themselves down the mooring line staying low to the bottom
of the shoal then, follow the shoal, dropping off it to the
water grave of the Vickerys remains. The first time I dove
her I was filming, this was no easy task while towing over
$6500.00 of camera equipment and lighting. But, it was well
worth the trip and we visit her every year now and she is
one of My Favorites.
We could not find a actual photo so, we did find this
underwater drawing to help you out plus photos of what she
looks like on the bottom today....Enjoy!
This Below Pictures
Of The A.E. Vickery Were Taken By Dennis Johnson In August
Wolfe Islander II
164 ft. long ferry was built in Collingwood, Ontario in 1946
and named "Ottawa Maybrook." It was originally intended to
be sent to China as a gift, but minds were changed due to
the political climate as China's communist leadership gained
power. She was then converted to a car ferry and renamed The
Wolfe Islander II, servicing the Wolfe Island to Kingston
route for many years. Resting in 80 ft. of water, she was
intentionally sunk September 21, 1985 as an artificial reef
and diving site, and is normally buoyed for visitor divers.