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Explorers accidently discover 1879 shipwreck in Lake Superior

Ghost Stories

We have all heard stories about shipwrecks and other ghostly happenings in the great lakes region. One of the most famous is Edmund Fitzgerald. A freighter ship that sunk during a ruthless storm on Lake Superior on November, 10th 1975; killed all 29 passengers on board. The wreck inspired Gordon Lightfoots’ 1976 song, The Wreck of the Edmind Firzgerald. The bell of the Edmund Fitzgerald is on display at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Paradise, Michigan.

The Surprise find

Sonar image of the The Satellite. Source: The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society published a blog post on it’s website last week. The Museum reported that they, had found a new wreck in Lake Superior.

Josh Gates, host of the Discovery Channel television show Expedition Unknown set out with his film crew last year to find two lost French Great War minesweepers. The two Minesweepers, having been built in Thunder Bay, Canada, were headed together through the Great Lakes, and the Atlantic for their destination in Europe. A violent storm came through, sinking both ships and taking the lives of the 80 mariners aboard.

Using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV). A device that allows users to explore ocean depths remotely from their ship- using real-time surveillance and transmitter equipment. To their surprise, 300 miles below, they found a different wreck. Josh and his crew stumbled upon the wreck of The Satellite– a tug boat that sank on June 21st, 1879.

According to The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, what caused the tugboat to sink is a mystery; some think it was a mechanical issue. Something to do with the engines. While another account recalled the ship hitting a log or another foreign object. The wreck, thankfully, didn’t suffer any loss of life.

Photograph of the Satellites’ sister ship THE SWEEPSTAKES. Source: Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society and Museum reported, that there are no known photographs of the ship. However, the Museum did report that the ship looked like her sister. ship, THE SWEEPSTAKES.

Lake of wrecks

An additional three other shipwrecks were discovered this year in lake superior. The shipwreck dubbed Bad Luck Barquentine by searchers was found in February. Bad Luck Barquentine was a ship known as the Nucleus. According to the Great Lakes Historical Society, the ship had a troubled past. The ship sank twice, and in 1854, the ship rammed another ship in Lake Huron. The Nucleus found it’s a final resting place on Sept. 14, 1869.

Two additional ships were discovered in April. The two ships belonged and owned by the Edward Hines Lumber Company and were part of a triad of cargo transport ships that sunk in 1914. Unfortunately, 30 crew members perished during the incident.

However, There still are an estimated 10,000 shipwrecks in The Great Lakes with only 350 of them being in Lake Superior and additionally, only 50 wrecks estimated to be in Minnesota Waters.

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