Unusual 120-Year-Old Shipwreck Discovered In Lake Superior Wows Researchers

An uncommon ship misplaced in a raging storm greater than a century in the past has been rediscovered beneath 650 toes of water in Lake Superior, giving researchers and lovers a glimpse into one other period.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (GLSHS) mentioned Barge 129, a whaleback ship misplaced on Oct. 13, 1902, was discovered final yr utilizing sonar about 35 miles off Vermilion Point, Michigan. Now, the group has despatched down a digicam to verify the invention and get an up-close take a look at the wreck:

Whalebacks had been constructed within the late nineteenth century and used principally for cargo throughout the Great Lakes. The odd title comes from the ships even odder design, as seen on this picture of Barge 129 in its heyday:

Barge 129

Courtesy Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society

The whalebacks had been fairly uncommon ships, Bruce Lynn, government director of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, mentioned in a information launch. When we had the ROV on it, you possibly can clearly see the distinctive bow with part of the towline nonetheless in placethat was an unimaginable second!

Barge 129, which was carrying iron ore, was being towed by the steamer Maunaloa when a storm hit, snapping the towline that had stored the ships collectively. Maunaloa tried to reconnect, however the ships collided. Maunaloas anchor hit 129, ripping via its starboard aspect.

The barges crew escaped in lifeboats as their ship sank, and had been rescued by Maunaloa.

Barge 129's capstan and hawser line.
Barge 129’s capstan and hawser line.

Courtesy Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society

Ive appeared for this ship for therefore lengthy as a result of it was a whaleback. I used to be fairly excited, GLSHS director of marine operations Darryl Ertel Jr. mentioned in a information launch. I couldnt wait to get the cameras on it.

The ship itself was fairly wrecked, even by shipwreck requirements.

Its completely destroyed on the underside, mentioned Ertel. Its nowhere close to intact. Its at the least 4 to 5 huge items and 1000’s of little items. Its simply disintegrated.

Theres only one surviving instance of a whaleback left: the SS Meteor, which has been remodeled right into a museum thats completely land-berthed on Barkers Island in Wisconsin, on the far western finish of Lake Superior.

Maunaloa continued to function for a lot of the twentieth century however was sold for scrap in 1971.

Steel hull of Barge 129.
Steel hull of Barge 129.

Courtesy Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society


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