ROVworld Subsea Information

VideoRay ROV Recently Discovered 175 Year Old Schooner in Lake Ontario
Date: Thursday, August 08, 2013 @ 09:53:15 EDT

 VideoRay Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Images Recently Discovered 175 Year Old Schooner in Lake Ontario A VideoRay underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) captured the first still images of the schooner Atlas since its sinking in 1839 in Lake Ontario near Oswego, New York.  Believed to be the oldest confirmed commercial schooner discovered in the Great Lakes, the wreckage was located in June 2013 by shipwreck enthusiasts Jim Kennard, Roger Pawlowski, and Roland Stevens using a high resolution DeepVision side scan sonar system.  They returned last week with the VideoRay ROV to obtain video recording of the shipwreck's remains.


Schooner Atlas

 With the VideoRay ROV, the shipwreck discovery team was able to collect video and still images of the Atlas as it appears today. The ROV was useful not only for its still and video recording, but for its ability to illuminate the pitch black environment.  The wreckage lies underwater at a depth upwards of 300 feet, making visibility nearly impossible without the VideoRay's high intensity lighting.  

The Atlas sank in May 1839 after gale force winds shifted the ship's cargo, plunging to the lake bottom so swiftly that none of the 5-person crew had time to escape.  The two masted schooner was transporting limestone from Chaumont, NY to the port of Oswego.  The weight of the cargo accelerated the schooner's sinking and intensified its impact upon landing, the force of which collapsed the deck, weakened the sides, and scattered debris across the lake bottom.  Combined with nearly two centuries spent underwater, the violence of the Atlas' landing has left the wreckage "a mess," according to Kennard.  The sketch below, drawn by Stevens based off the ROV's recording, illustrates the wreckage as it appears today.
Article: 175 Year Old Great Lakes Schooner Located in Lake Ontario (via Shipwreck World)


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