Great Lakes News

Great Lakes News

Two Great Lakes Shipwrecks Discovered, One Potentially Toxic


Last week was an exciting week for Great Lakes shipwreck hunters. One shipwreck was found in Lake Ontario, and a potentially toxic wreck was discovered in Lake Erie.

According to the Great Lakes Historical Society, the shipwreck Bay State was discovered in Lake Ontario near Fair Haven, New York by the team of Jim Kennard, Roger Pawlowski, and Roland ‘Chip’ Stevens. 

"The Bay State, we believe, is the oldest steam driven propeller ship discovered in Lake Ontario to date," the Great Lakes Historical Society said in a statement. "She was built in Buffalo in 1852, and sank in Lake Ontario on November 2, 1862 in a storm that created havoc across Lake Ontario — including 13 other accidents over that weekend.

Another shipwreck was found in Lake Erie and this wreck appears to be potentially toxic, as it was an oil-laden ship believed to be threatening Lake Erie with up to 4,700 barrels of petroleum, according to an article. The tanker barge Argo sank off Sandusky, Ohio in 1937 and was discovered in August about 44 feet deep and about 8 miles east of Kelleys Island, Ohio. This is potentially the most hazardous shipwreck currently in the Great Lakes. 

According to the MLive article, the discovery of Argo has prompted an emergency response from the U.S. Coast Guard, which confirmed a large area of "discoloration" in the water near the wreck. Divers plan to look for ways to plug any fuel flow from the ship this week. 

The National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo says the 125-foot barge was operating illegally when it sank while under tow by the tug Syosset. The two crew members on board were rescued. Little else is known of the wreck.

Photo of Bay State by Jim Kennard/ National Museum of the Great Lakes 

South Shore JUN17