Wasn't sure what category this should be posted in. Mods move to a different category if necessary.
The Henry B. Smith freighter went down in Lake Superior, Michigan after sailing into the Great Lakes Storm in 1913. Shipwreck hunters found the boat
last month in about 535 feet of water off the shore of Marquette.
These are using some sort of new technology to find the wrecks. Pretty amazing that they could find it within a few hours of searching in deep open
water. Imagine how many more wrecks will be found using this technology. From the looks of the video, the surviving parts of the ship look
surprisingly well preserved. Very interesting.
Jerry Eliason, one of the divers said they were not revealing exactly how his group found the Smith, because he hopes to use the same method to
find other wrecks. But he said it wasn't a case of merely running a grid pattern over the lake in hopes of getting lucky. Eliason said the group used
a culmination of hunches, research and data to pinpoint a specific search area.
The data pointed them toward a possible wreck about 30 miles north of Marquette, and the hunters found the Smith just 20 minutes after dropping a
sonar unit into the water. An underwater camera captured enough detail in videos and photos to convince the group that they found the Smith.
'Going and finding a wreck 20-some miles offshore in the span of a couple hours is extraordinary.'
Fellow hunter Ken Merryman, of Minneapolis, said it appears the ship is broken in the middle but largely intact in the front. The stern has more
damage, Merryman said.
'It's a beautiful wreck' with great visibility, he said. 'No zebra mussels; clean.'
The crew will return to the site this summer in hopes of getting more questions answered. But the group is already starting to piece together events
that led to the Smith's demise.
'It's very clear to me that this one appeared to have broken on the surface, spilled its iron ore contents over the bottom, and then landed on the
iron ore,' said Jerry Eliason, who had been considering retiring from wreck hunting partly because he wasn't expecting any more significant finds on
edit on 11-6-2013 by jtrenthacker because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by Beartracker16
Another reminder of the Witch of November.
That storm on November 7-10 1913 sank 19 ships in total and stranded 19 others. It cost 250 lives on the lakes.
The depth and cold water temperatures likely had a lot to do with the state of preservation of that wreck.
Thanks. I've never heard of the "Witch of November". I found this info on Wikipedia:
The Witch of November, or November Witch, refers to the strong winds that frequently blow across the Great Lakes in Autumn. The "witches" are
caused by intense low-pressure over the Great Lakes pulling cold Canadian/Arctic air from the north or northwest and warm Gulf air from the south.
When these cold and warm fronts collide they can result in hurricane force winds that stir up large waves on the Lakes.
The storm that wrecked the Edmund Fitzgerald was 978 mbar, equivalent to a borderline Category 1/2 hurricane. Similar witches have caused numerous
shipwrecks over the years. Another storm that hit in November 1998 was 967 mbar, equivalent to a solid Category 2 hurricane. A still stronger
storm, of October 2010, brought Minnesota and Wisconsin record low barometric pressures of, respectively, 954.96 and 961.06 mbar (both equivalent
to a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale) and lashed Duluth with 81 mph wind gusts and 19-foot seas during the night of October
Gordon Lightfoot's song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" makes reference to The Witch of November. When the History Channel featured Great
Lakes shipwrecks, they used the term November Witch almost exclusively.
The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 that you mentioned, is also referred as "The Big Blow", "The Freshwater Fury", or "The White Hurricane". It was a
blizzard with hurricane-force winds that devastated the Great Lakes region from November 7 through November 10, 1913. The storm was most powerful on
November 9, battering and overturning ships on four of the five Great Lakes, particularly Lake Huron. Deceptive lulls in the storm and the slow pace
of weather reports contributed to the storm's destructiveness.
The following list includes ships that sank during the storm, killing their entire crews. It does not include the three victims from the freighter
William Nottingham, who volunteered to leave the ship on a lifeboat in search of assistance. While the boat was being lowered into the water, a
breaking wave smashed it into the side of the ship. The men disappeared into the near-freezing waters below. The following shipwreck casualties have
Leafield: 18 victims
Henry B. Smith: 25 victims
Plymouth (barge): 7 victims
Argus: 28 victims
James Carruthers: 22 victims
Hydrus: 25 victims
John A. McGean: 28 victims
Charles S. Price: 28 victims
Regina: 20 victims
Isaac M. Scott: 28 victims
Wexford: 20 victims
Lightship LV 82, Buffalo: 6 victims
Of the twelve ships that sank in the storm, five have never been found: Henry B. Smith, Leafield, James Carruthers, Plymouth, and the Hydrus. The most
recent discovery was that of Wexford in the summer of 2000. The "Henry B. Smith" appears to have been located in June of 2013
I visit Lake Superior every few years. It is an amazing and imposing inland sea. Calling it a lake is really not doing it justice. If you ever get
a chance visit the Ship Wreck museum at White Fish Point north of Paradise Michigan. It is a great time and there is lots of history there.
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