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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Beautiful Shipwreck

World's most beautiful shipwreck: Haunting hull of Sweepstakes lies just TWENTY FEET below clear blue water of Ontario lake where it sank in 1885

  • Despite sinking in 1885 she still holds an attraction for tourists and divers alike as she shimmers in the clears waters
  • Sustained hull damage on shoals near Cove Island, off shore of Tobermory while hauling coal
  • Towed to the head of Big Tub Harbour to be repaired but it was determined that the damage was too extensive
  • Considered one of the best preserved 19th-century great lakes schooners to ever be discovered
The world's ocean floor is littered with around 3 million shipwrecks according to the United Nations.
But one of the most captivating is in a pool of water much smaller - the bottom of an Ontario lake.
Shimmering in the clear blue water just twenty feet below the surface lies the Sweepstakes, a 19th century boat.

Haunting: The hull of Sweepstakes lies just twenty feet below clear blue water of Ontario lake where it sank in 1885
Haunting: The hull of Sweepstakes lies just twenty feet below clear blue water of Ontario lake where it sank in 1885
Ending: She was towed to the head of Big Tub Harbour to be repaired in September of 1885 however it was determined that the damage was too extensive to be repaired
Ending: She was towed to the head of Big Tub Harbour to be repaired in September of 1885 however it was determined that the damage was too extensive to be repaired

Despite sinking in 1885, she still holds an attraction for divers and tourists in the Fathom Five National Marine Park.
Sweepstakes was a Canadian schooner built in Burlington, Ontario in 1867.
At 218 gross tonnes, she was 119' long with a 23' beam and a 10' depth of hold.
The end came for Sweepstakes in the summer of 1885 when she was hauling coal near Cove Island and her hull was damaged.
Damaged: The Sweepstakes sustained hull damage on shoals near Cove Island, off shore of Tobermory while hauling coal late in the summer of 1885
Damaged: The Sweepstakes sustained hull damage on shoals near Cove Island, off shore of Tobermory while hauling coal late in the summer of 1885
BG736E Shipwreck of the ship Sweepstakes (built in 1867) in Big Tub Harbour, Fathom Five National Marine Park, Lake Huron, Ontario, Can
Sunk: A decision was made to sink her and she was stripped of anything of value before being allowed to travel to the bottom of the seabed
Protection: Metal bars are now throughout the inside of her hull, these have been installed by Parks Canada to reinforce the hull and deck
Protection: Metal bars are now throughout the inside of her hull, these have been installed by Parks Canada to reinforce the hull and deck
Draw: Despite sinking in 1855, she still holds an attraction for divers and tourists in the Fathom Five National Marine Park
Draw: Despite sinking in 1885, she still holds an attraction for divers and tourists in the Fathom Five National Marine Park
Discovery: She is considered one of the best preserved 19th-century great lakes schooners to ever be discovered
Discovery: She is considered one of the best preserved 19th-century great lakes schooners to ever be discovered
View from above: Shipwreck Sweepstakes visible through the clear water of the Ontario lake
View from above: Shipwreck Sweepstakes visible through the clear water of the Ontario lake

She was towed to the head of Big Tub Harbour to be repaired, but the damage proved too extensive to make a repair economically viable.
A decision was made to sink her and she was stripped of anything of value before being allowed to travel to the bottom of the seabed.
Although she deteriorates more each year she is considered one of the best preserved 19th-century great lakes schooners to ever be discovered
Metal bars are now throughout the inside of her hull, these have been installed by Parks Canada to reinforce the hull and deck.
There is also a wire fence to stop divers going into the wreckage in an attempt to preserve the shipwreck.

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