Location of wreck in Lake Superior a significant feat

Just months after locating the long lost lake freighter Henry B. Smith, which had disappeared in a wicked Lake Superior gale in 1913, researchers have located another wreck on the bottom: the Scotiadoc.

The Associated Press reported that the 424-foot Scotiadoc sank after colliding with the 451-foot freighter Burlington in 1953, killing one person. It was found in the last month or so in more than 850 feet of water near Thunder Bay, Ontario. At 521-feet and 6,631 tons, the Smith was lost with all hands on Nov. 10, 1913. The Smith was located earlier this year in more than 500 feet of water, north of Marquette.

“Finding the Henry B. Smith was the entree; the Scotiadoc was the dessert,” Jerry Eliason, of Cloquet, Minn., said in an AP story. Eliason is a part of the research group that found both ships.

AP stated that the Scotiadoc departed Port Arthur, Ontario – part of what’s now Thunder Bay – with a crew of 29 and nearly 260,000 bushels of wheat on June 20, 1953. About two hours into the voyage, the Scotiadoc and the Burlington were in the vicinity of Trowbridge Island and each ship, the court ruled, made crucial errors as they navigated through thick fog and driving rain.

The Burlington plowed into the starboard side of the Scotiadoc at an angle near the stern, gashing a hole in the smaller vessel as its bow scraped along the side.

The ship rests upright – and largely intact near Trowbridge Island – about 20 miles southeast of Thunder Bay, with the bow at a depth of 850 feet and the stern at 870 feet.

We salute the research group for finding these lost ships, helping to close a tragic chapter in Lake Superior history.