Recent Lake Erie Shipwreck Research


sultanThe following information about recent Lake Erie shipwreck research is offered by guest blogger Chris Kraska.  Enjoy! In the Summer of 2012 the Ohio Maritime Archaeological Survey Team (MAST), a non-profit avocational group, began surveying the wreck site of the brigantine Sultan located 3 miles north of Cleveland’s Brahtenal neighborhood.  Along with the assistance of the Cleveland Underwater Explorers, the Great Lakes Historical Society and other organizations, MAST has produced a detailed plan of the wreck site and taken numerous photographs of features on the wreck all the while minimizing any disturbance to the surprisingly intact Civil War era site. The Sultan sits upright on her hull in 45 feet of water and can be accessed using the buoy attached to a concrete mooring block.  She is a favorite of local wreck divers due to the dozens of grind stones which litter her deck along with a substantial amount of intact railings and other interesting features. The story of the Sultan’s sinking is one that recalls the old adage “There are old sailors and there are bold sailors but there are no old bold sailors.”  The Sultan was lost in a storm shortly after leaving the port of Cleveland with a cargo of grind stones, barrel staves and other goods.   Her captain was young and fairly inexperienced and decided to venture out into the lake despite advice otherwise.  Of the seven on board only one survived the night of the sinking.  For more information on the Sultan visit here. Most recently Brian Abbott brought his 360 degree sonar equipment to the site to produce the composite image seen here.  This image shows a number of features including a debris field yet to be fully explored. The technical report is in its final editing stages and should be available before the end of the year.  Even so, the wreck still holds secrets yet to be discovered through further field work. To keep up to date on all MAST projects and volunteer opportunities like us on Facebook. Chris Kraska Chair of the Maritime Archaeological Survey Team

Posted July 22, 2014
Topics: Archaeology

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