Doug Olynyk

Protection sought for historic shipwreck


From CBC News

The Yukon government is seeking protection for the Gold Rush-era boat sitting at the bottom of Lake Laberge.

An aquatic archeological team in the summer of 2009 found the A.J. Goddard shipwreck to be in pristine shape at the bottom of the lake, which is located north of Whitehorse.

The heritage department has begun the process of designating the area a historic site.

Doug Olynyk, manager of historic sites for the Yukon government, said the designation will allow the government to open the site to educational tours and keep track of what goes on there.

"We definitely want to keep trrack of who's down there and what their intentions are," said Olnyk. "We want to have it available just like any other Yukon historic site for educational purposes, but we do want to control what activities are there."

Olynyk said they are counting on the public to watch for any unusual activities in the area.

Yukoners have 30 days to make their feelings known on the historic site request.

Launched during the Klondike Gold Rush in 1898, the A.J. Goddard vanished in Lake Laberge during a winter storm on Oct. 22, 1901. Two members of the five-man crew survived but the other three drowned.

The international archeological team, which includes Doug Davidge of the Yukon Transportation Museum, found the steamboat with its hull completely intact and many of the crew members' belongings preserved.