Friday, February 18, 2005


'Great Lakes Underwater' features shipwreck explorers from around the inland seas


The Palladium Times
February 17, 2005

OSWEGO - Shipwreck explorers will have the opportunity to share their tales of adventure with the public at Great Lakes Underwater 2005 to be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 5 in Lanigan Hall on the SUNY Oswego campus. Sign-in begins at 8:30 a.m.

Great Lakes Underwater brings to central New York many of the foremost researchers and adventurers in Great Lakes shipwreck diving and exploration.

The annual shipwreck and diving symposium is hosted by the Oswego Maritime Foundation (OMF) and New York Sea Grant.

Feature presentations include the recent discovery of two shipwrecks in Lake Ontario by Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville of StealthDive in Rochester.

The team found the wrecks of the tall ship Etta Belle and a US Coast Guard Vessel and are in the process of surveying and documenting the sites. Built in 1852 in Canada and originally named Champion, the Etta Belle was 93 feet long. The oak-hulled schooner, Etta Belle, foundered suddenly during calm weather on Sept. 3, 1873.

The ship was on route from Little Sodus to Toronto, Canada, and was loaded with a full cargo of coal. Kennard and Scoville discovered the Etta Belle in approximately 200 feet of water.

Kennard and Scoville also discovered a 56-foot Coast Guard cable vessel, which was on route from Oswego to Niagara in 1977 when it was overcome by high waves and wind.

"The Great Lakes have become an emerging mecca for divers," said David White, program coordinator for New York Sea Grant. "Many Great Lake states have implemented shipwreck identification and buoying programs to further enable access by divers and historians to these historic and cultural resources. At Great Lakes Underwater, people can learn more about these great sites and how to access them from the experts!"

Other presentations include underwater photographer Tom Wilson; Shipwreck Preserves of Lake Superior and Lake Michigan by John Karl of Wisconsin Sea Grant; Lake Erie Shipwrecks by Dave Kelch of Ohio Sea Grant; and update on the Pennsylvania Underwater Preserve Project by Anne Danielski of Pennsylvania Sea Grant; Diving The Seaway Trail by Dave White of New York Sea Grant; and the Lake Ontario Dive Site Steward Project by Phil Church, Oswego Maritime Foundation.

Pre-registration is required before March 1, 2004. Registration includes presentations, buffet lunch and refreshments. To register, contact Sea Grant at 315-312-3042 or Make checks payable to Cornell University and mail to New York Sea Grant, SUNY Oswego, Oswego, NY 13126. MasterCard and VISA credit cards are also accepted.

For directions and more information, contact Sea Grant, or see the Great Lakes Underwater! 2005 Web site .


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