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Shipwrecks in Lake Superior near Thunder Bay get new heritage marker buoys

Aug 01, 2018 07:21AM ● By Editor
Richard Harvey, right, is chair of the Superior chapter of Save Ontario Shipwrecks. He said marker buoys like the one in the photo don't just help divers find shipwrecks; they also help protect the wrecks, by warning fishers and crews of commercial vessels to steer clear. (Save Ontario Shipwrecks)

By Heather Kitching from CBC News - August 1, 2018 

Two more shipwrecks in the waters of Lake Superior near Thunder Bay, Ont., now have heritage buoys to help divers find them, and to provide a spot to moor dive vessels.

The Superior chapter of Save Ontario Shipwrecks has been setting up the buoys for about four years now to help promote dive tourism in the region.

Divers marked the Gray Oak for the first time this year, and set up a new buoy near the Puckasaw, after the previous one vanished two years ago. 

In addition to helping divers, the buoys protect the wrecks by alerting fishers and crews of commercial vessels to steer clear of them.  It's a benefit which was highlighted in late July when volunteers were setting up the buoy on the Gray Oak, said Richard Harvey, the chapter chair.  

"We noticed some large drag marks from anchors right around the ship," Harvey said.  "It looks like something was anchored near there.  It shouldn't have been. But there wasn't a mooring on this one. ... We have seen some significant damage that has been done probably having a chain dragged, one of the large chains from one of the big ships dragged across it." 

A total of five wrecks in the area, including the Howard, the Green River and the Robert Fryer,  are now rigged with the buoys, which are funded in part by the government. 

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