'Ironton' Shipwreck Found In Lake Huron After Being Lost For Over A Century
'Ironton' Shipwreck Found In Lake Huron After Being Lost For Over A Century. U.S. marine archaeologists have discovered an intact shipwreck that has been resting hundreds of feet below the surface of Lake Huron for nearly 130 years. In September 1894, Ironton sank in a collision that took the lives of five of the ship's crew. Now, researchers from America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the state of Michigan, and Ocean Exploration Trust have discovered the wreck intact after an incredible hunt that utilised sonar and a camera-equipped remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV). Tremendously preserved by the cold freshwater of the lake for over a century, the 191-foot Ironton rests upright with its three masts still standing. On 26 September 1894, the schooner sank after it had to be detached from the steamer that had been towing it and collided with the grain ship Ohio - which sank immediately. The damaged Ironton drifted out of sight of the responding vessels. As it slipped beneath the waves, only two men - William Wooley and William W. Parry - survived. Armed with the location of Ohio, which was found in 2017, further research into the weather and wind conditions from the night of the fatal collision and new technology, the team defined the area to search, and mapped the lakebed. As the project came to its final days, the Ironton remained undiscovered. However, after expanding the search area, the sonar returned an image from the lakebed of an unmistakable shipwreck - one that matched the description of Ironton. The following month, researchers utilised an underwater robot or remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to confirm the ship's identity through video images. In June 2021, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Ocean Exploration Trust returned to the site to carry out a more thorough investigation of Ironton. High resolution video showed it resting upright and incredibly well preserved. The sanctuary intends to deploy a deep-water mooring buoy at the site of Ironton to mark the shipwreck's location and help divers visit the wreck site safely.