Two men find 19th-century shipwreck in lake near Oswego
- On 30/10/2012
- In Wreck Diving
From Democrat & Chronicle
More than 500 feet below the surface of The Shannona team of determined shipwreck hunters found the final resting place of a coal schooner that left Oswego 138 years ago only to sink 20 miles out to sea.
The Shannon was discovered by former Greece resident Daniel Scoville and friend Chris Koberstein while looking for another wreck off the shores of Oswego.
This is not Scoville’s first find. He and his fellow wreck hunters, including Jim Kennard of Perinton, have found more than 20 ships in Lake Ontario and elsewhere over the past decade, but this summer’s find, he said, is pretty sweet.
“For me the hobby started as a diving hobby and then it became about ‘how deep can we go ?’ ” he said. “Then we decided that it would be cool to see ships no divers have seen before.”
The Shannon was last seen the night of June 20, 1874. A few hours after setting sail to deliver coal to a client in
Ganaoque, Canada, water came gushing through a hole in the hull.
According to newspaper accounts, the captain ordered the crew to cut down the jib in hopes the Shannon would run over it and blanket the leak to slow the flow of the water.
But the last-ditch effort did not work and with the pumps unable to keep up, the crew jumped safely to a small boat just in time to see the vessel sink.
“They only had one oar, but they paddled all the way back to Oswego,” said Scoville.
Scoville and Kobertein searched the waters of Lake Ontario near Oswego for nearly three weeks in June and July using a side-scan sonar to identify potential targets on the lake bottom.