1930s Steamboat Found By Divers In Lake Erie
After resting undisturbed on the lake bottom for 75 years, the steamboat George J. Whelan came to life Thursday for nine divers, who were clearly excited about their opportunity.
"You can dive a whole lifetime and never be the first one on [a wreck]," said Wayne Rush, who drove two hours from Port Allegany, Pa., for the dive.
Rush was the first of the divers to reach the Whelan in 145 feet of water eight miles from shore.
Rush and the others said the boat was in impeccable condition, with all of its portholes open. During their brief examination, they said they saw kerosene lanterns, fire extinguishers and porcelain light fixtures, more than enough to pique their interest.
"Next summer, I'll be out here every chance I get," said diver Dan Kuzdale of Dunkirk.
Lake Erie has at least 1,750 shipwrecks, according to Great Lakes shipwreck historian Mike Walker. He said other estimates put the total at closer to 3,000.
Only about 300 have been located, he said, and serious divers in the area are likely to have made multiple trips to most of them.
"The Holy Grail for divers in the Great Lakes is a virgin wreck," he said, noting that the cold, fresh water helps preserve wrecks for hundreds of years. "That boat is literally sitting the way it went down."
comments powered by Disqus
- Rare silent Native American movie of 1920s attracting a lot of interest
- It happened in Idaho and was the largest massacre of Indians in US history, but where exactly did it take place?
- Junípero Serra’s Missions Destroyed Entire Native Cultures. And Now He’s Going to Be a Saint.
- Isis destruction of Palmyra's Temple of Bel revealed in satellite images
- McKinley's lost his mountain. Should we still remember his presidency?
- Japanese historian upends the familiar narrative of WW 2 by taking a bottom up approach, focusing on fascism from the grassroots
- Holocaust-denying historian David Irving organises 'disgusting' £2,000-a-head holiday tours of former concentration camps and Hitler's HQ so people can 'make up their own mind about the truth'
- 72 history professors sign letter urging removal of Jefferson Davis statue from Kentucky Capitol
- 10 Years After Katrina, the Enduring Value of the Hurricane Digital Memory Bank
- Historian author Antony Beevor says his new World War 2 book may anger Americans