Tag: ROV


On 19 June 1889, NORTH STAR (steel propeller freighter, 299 foot, 2,476 gross tons, built in 1889, at Cleveland, Ohio) collided with CHARLES J. SHEFFIELD (steel propeller freighter, 260 foot, 1,699 gross tons, built in 1887, at Cleveland, Ohio) about sixty miles west of Whitefish Point on Lake Superior in heavy fog. The NORTH STAR kept her bow in the SHEFFIELD’s side after the impact, giving the crew time to board. The SHEFFIELD then sank in 8 minutes. Her loss was valued at $160,000. The courts found both vessels to be equally at fault after years of litigation.


Other names : also seen as C.J. SHEFFIELD
Official no. : 126414
Type at loss : propeller, steel, passenger & package freight
Build info : 1886, Globe Iron Works, Cleveland
Specs : 259x37x23 1700g 1319n
Date of loss : 1889, Jun 19
Place of loss : 60 mi W of Whitefish Point**
Lake : Superior
Type of loss : collision
Loss of life : none of 17
Carrying : light (kerosene?)
Detail : She was rammed broadsides – just forward of her stack – in heavy fog by the steel freighter NORTH STAR, which kept her bow in the hole until SHEFFIELD’s crew clambered aboard. When she backed away, SHEFFIELD sank in 8 minutes, a total loss of $160,000. She went down in 900 feet of water. Both vessels were later found to be at fault.
Home port: Cleveland. Owned by H. Brown.
1st collision between two steel ships.
When built, she was a highly innovative bulk freighter, with a modern hatch plan and iron decks.



1926: NISBET GRAMMER sank after a collision with DALWARNIC in fog off Thirty Mile Point, Lake Ontario, while downbound with a cargo of grain. All on board were rescued from the 3-year old member of the Eastern Steamship Co. fleet. It went down in about 500 feet of water.

Ship of the month no 68  Everything you need to know about the NISBET GRAMMER

Underwater footage 

Nisbet Grammer (1923)
Year of Build:
Official Number:
Built at:
Tonnage (gross):
Final Location:
Charlotte, New York, U.S.A.
Foundered (Collision)
253x43x20 Owned by Eastern Steamship Co., Port Colborne, Ont. Built by Cammell Laird, Birkenhead England and launched 14/04/23. Engine 16-27-44×33 by builder. Sunk in collision with “Dalwarnic” 31/05/26 off Charlotte, New York.


The small schooner ST PETER was loaded with grain when she sank 35 miles from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on 5 May 1874. The crew reached shore in the yawl.

Schooner St. PETER, cargo grain, foundered Lake Michigan, May 1874. Total loss. Cargo loss $12,000 Hull loss $10,000.
Casualty List for 1874
Chicago Inter-Ocean, Dec. 25, 1874

. . . . .

The crew of the small schr. ST. PETER have arrived at Milwaukee in a yawl after having pulled a distance of 35 miles from the northeasterly direction, where they report the schooner sunk. When the leak was first discovered the ST. PETER had nearly 2 ft. of water in her hold, and nothwithstanding every effort was made to free her with the pumps, the water gained so rapidly what the crew were compelled to abandon her in a snking condition. She went down soon after their departure. The ST. PETER had a cargo of 8,000 bu. corn, which was taken on board at Chicago. It was consigned to J.H. Vought, of this city.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
May 8, 1874 3-5

The schr. ST. PETER which sunk on Lake Michigan a few days since, was insured in the Mercantile Insurance Co., of Cleveland, and the Mechanics’ & Traders’ of New York, to the amount of $6,500. The cargo of wheat was insured for $11,000. The vessel was owned by Capt. Flood, who 2 years ago sailed the CITY OF THE STRAITS. She measured 119 tons, rated B1, and was registered at a valuation of $4,500.
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser
May 9, 1874 3-5
The small schooner St. PETER, grain laden, sunk in Lake Michigan, 35 miles from Milwaukee on May 5th. The crew reached shore in the yawl boat all right.
Port Huron Daily Times
Saturday, May 9, 1874
The schr. St. PETER, which a few nights since sprung a leak and sunk in Lake Michigan, laden with wheat, was during her brief career an unfortunate craft. She was built at or near New Baltimore, on Lake St. Clair, during the fall of 1868 and winter of 1869, commencing her career in the spring of that season, during which she twice got ashore, and afterwards struck a rock near Kelley’s Island and sunk, laden with 7,000 bushels of wheat. She was abandoned as a total loss, but in the season following was rescued and sold to Detroit parties who subsequently made sale of her to parties on Lake Michigan.
Detroit Free Press
May 10, 1874

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Categories: Technical Dive





On 04 May 1839, ATLAS (wooden schooner, built in 1836, at Dexter, New York) was carrying building stone from Chaumont Bay to Oswego, New York, when she foundered 6 miles from Oswego. The steamer TELEGRAPH rushed out of Oswego to assist her but only found a little flotsam. All five on board were lost: Capt. Asahel Wescott, Ortha Little, William Ackerman, John Lee and Asa Davis (a passenger).

Rochester, New York – The wreckage of the schooner Atlas which sank in 1839 during a gale has been located in Lake Ontario. The Atlas may be the oldest confirmed commercial schooner discovered in the Great Lakes. A team of shipwreck enthusiasts, Jim Kennard, Roger Pawlowski and Roland Stevens, located the schooner while searching for sunken ships near Oswego, NY.

A Disastrous Event

In early May 1839 the schooner Atlas was transporting a cargo of Black River limestone from Chaumont to the port of Oswego. Within a few miles of its final destination the Atlas encountered gale force winds from the northwest which more than likely caused a shift in the heavy cargo taking the schooner swiftly to the bottom of Lake Ontario. The schooner sank so quickly there was no time for anyone to escape and all on board were carried to the deep depths of the lake. Only a few articles from the schooner were found later by the steamer Telegraph that had been sent out to where the Atlas was seen going down. These included a pair of oars, a coat, two hats, and a pair of boots.

Schooner built in 1838

The Atlas, a two masted schooner, was built in Dexter, NY in 1838 and owned by Ortha Little & Son for the specific purpose of transporting building stone from the quarries in the Chaumont, NY area. The cargo was owned by Asa Davis who at that time was furnishing the cut stone for the U.S. government pier in Oswego. Stone from the Davis quarries was later used in the construction of the Gerrit Smith building (public library) and a number of other structures in Oswego.

Lost on the Atlas

The crew of the Atlas consisted of Ashel Westcott, of Brownville, Jefferson county, aged about 26; Ortha Little, of Hounsfield, Jefferson county, part owner of the schooner and a sailor on board, aged 48; William Ackerman of Brownville, a sailor, aged 19; John See, a sailor, aged 18; and Asa Davis of Chaumont, owner of the cargo, aged 30 years, son of Phineas Davis, of Mexico, NY.


he SS Martin Mullen was launched as hull number 422 by American Ship Building Co. of Columbus.[1]

The Martin Mullen made frequent trips to and from Duluth-area ports. She was purchased by Paterson Steamships in 1947 and renamed the Scotiadoc.

Final voyage
The Scotiadoc was rammed by Canadian steamer Burlington in heavy fog on June 20, 1953 off Trowbridge Island, near the Sleeping Giant in Lake Superior. One crew member died. Captain George Edgar Morris testified that he picked up the Burlington on radar when it was five miles away. The Burlington collided with the starboard side of the Scotiadoc near the stern.[2]

Discovery of shipwreck
Shipwreck hunters found the wreck in 2013. At a depth of 850 feet, it is among the deepest shipwrecks in the Great Lakes

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Categories: Lake Superior


Edmund Fitzgerald

EDMUND FITZGERALD, US.277437, Lake Bulk Freighter built in 1958 by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, MI as Hull #301. Her keel was laid in August, 1957. Launched June 7, 1958 as a) EDMUND FITZGERALD for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. (Columbia Transportation Co., Cleveland, OH, mgr.). 729’loa, 711’lbp x 75’x 39′; 13,632 GRT, 8713 NRT, 26,600 dwt. Powered by a 7,500 shp Westinghouse Electric Co. double reduction geared, cross-compound steam turbine, and two coal-fired Combustion Engineering water tube boilers, with a total heating surface of 13,288 sq.ft. Engine and boilers built in 1958. Rated service speed: 14 knots (16.1 mph). Sea trials occurred on September 13th, and she was commissioned on September 22nd. The FITZGERALD’s first cargo of taconite pellets was loaded September 24, 1958 at Silver Bay, MN. for Toledo, OH. A Bird-Johnson diesel powered bow thruster was installed in 1969 resulting in a decrease in net registered tonnage to 8686. The FITZ collided with the Canadian steamer HOCHELAGA at the mouth of the Detroit River, May 1, 1970, suffering slight damage at hatches 18 and 19. During the 1971-72 winter lay up at Duluth, MN., she was converted from coal to oil-fired boilers which were automated at that time, and the fuel tanks were installed in the space that was occupied by the coal bunkers. Also a fire fighting system and a sewage holding tank were installed at that time. Minor cracking at the keelson to shell connection was repaired by installing additional stiffening on the keelson in 1970 and additional welding was required in 1973-74. The EDMUND FITZGERALD foundered on Lake Superior during a severe storm November 10, 1975 at approximately 7:10 pm about 17 miles north-northwest of Whitefish Point, MI at position 47°0’N by 85°7’W in Canadian waters. The FITZGERALD was running downbound loaded with 26,116 tons of taconite ore pellets from Superior, WI for Detroit, MI. During the height of the storm in 70 knot winds, 25 foot waves combed her deck decreasing her normal 12 feet of freeboard. Several times tons of water washed over her deck and challenged her buoyancy. Her sinking was so quick that no radio message was given though she had been in frequent visual and radio contact with the steamer ARTHUR M. ANDERSON. The FITZGERALD disappeared from sight in a furious snow squall and then from radar. Captain McSorley of the “FITZ” had indicated he was having difficulty and was taking on water. She was listing to port and had two of three ballast pumps working. She had lost her radar and damage was noted to ballast tank vent pipes and he was overheard on the radio saying, “don’t allow nobody (sic) on deck.” McSorley said it was the worst storm he had ever seen. All 29 officers and crew, including a Great Lakes Maritime Academy cadet, went down with the ship, which lies broken in two sections in 530 feet of water. Surveyed by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1976 using the U.S. Navy CURV III system, the wreckage consisted of an upright bow section, approximately 275 feet long and an inverted stern section, about 253 feet long, and a debris field comprised of the rest of the hull in between. Both sections lie within 170 feet of each other. The EDMUND FITZGERALD was removed from documentation January, 1976. The National Transportation Safety Board unanimously voted on March 23, 1978 to reject the U. S. Coast Guard’s official report supporting the theory of faulty hatches. Later the N.T.S.B. revised its verdict and reached a majority vote to agree that the sinking was caused by taking on water through one or more hatch covers damaged by the impact of heavy seas over her deck. This is contrary to the Lake Carriers Association’s contention that her foundering was caused by flooding through bottom and ballast tank damage resulting from bottoming on the Six Fathom Shoal between Caribou and Michipicoten Islands. The U.S. Coast Guard, report on August 2, 1977 cited faulty hatch covers, lack of water tight cargo hold bulkheads and damage caused from an undetermined source.


Digital sonar image
Digital sonar image