Divers locate Coast Guard boat sunk in 1977

US Coast Guard boat, which sank in a storm December 1, 1977, has been located by local divers.
By

Ontario-On-The Lake, NY - The US Coast Guard boat, which sank in a storm December 1, 1977, has been located by local divers, Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville.

While on route from Oswego to Niagara, the 56-foot Coast Guard cable boat experienced 6-foot waves and winds of 50 mph as it approached Nine Mile Point on Lake Ontario. The boat, a converted landing craft (LCM) with an open deck, was taking water over the gunwale faster than the 3-man crew could pump it out. The Charlotte Coast Guard Station dispatched its motor lifeboat to the scene where it found the 50-ton cable boat listing to its port side. They removed the crew and took the boat in tow, but a wave parted the line and the cable boat sank several miles east of Nine Mile Point and offshore from the community of Ontario-on-the-Lake. It was reported that the US Coast Guard intended to salvage the sunken vessel the following week. The US Coast Guard website relating the historic details of their Charlotte Station also mentions that the boat was salvaged and returned to service.

During the past year Kennard contacted friends, Bob Bristol and Tom Mulhall, both of whom were involved the following day in the search effort for the sunken Coast Guard boat. They believed that the reported salvage operation actually never happened. Bristol was living at Ontario-on-the-Lake in 1977 and could directly view the area of the lake where the boat went down. Utilizing the search information provided by his friends, Kennard and Scoville located the final position of the ship and were surprised with what they found.

The Coast Guard cable boat landed stern first and has remained that way, never coming fully to rest on the bottom. Being a converted landing craft, it had more weight concentrated in the rear causing it to remain upright on its stern. Over the years, 12 feet of the cable boat have sunk into the bottom. The lake currents have created an 8-foot crater completely surrounding the vessel, and it is now leaning over at an angle of 45 degrees. The cable boat is completely covered with zebra mussels, two inches thick in some places. On one occasion, a large quantity of Lake Bass was seen congregating around the shipwreck.

The sunken Coast Guard cable boat can potentially provide an interesting local shipwreck for Rochester area recreational SCUBA divers and an excellent location for area fishermen.


 Shipwreck location released:  US Coast Guard Boat 56022

Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville are pleased to announce the location of US Coast Guard Boat 56022 for the recreational diving community and local fisherman to enjoy.   The shipwreck is located 1 1/8 mile north of Ontario-on-the-Lake and 2 3/4 miles northwest from the launch at Bear Creek.  The depth of water in the wreck site area is 70 feet.

               Latitude:   N 43° 17.800'         Longitude:  W 077° 19.547'


About the exploration team  

Jim Kennard has found over 200 shipwrecks during the past 30 years and explored the Great Lakes, Lake Champlain, NY Finger Lakes, and the Inland Waterways. Using his experience as an electronics engineer, he built the side scan sonar system used to locate many of the undiscovered ships that sank in those waters. His discovery in 1983, with partner Scott Hill, of a unique horse powered ferryboat in Lake Champlain was featured the October 1989 issue of National Geographic magazine.

Dan Scoville is an experienced cave and "technical" diver. He utilizes custom gas mixtures of oxygen, helium, and nitrogen to dive to depths of over 300 feet. Scoville is the owner of StealthDive, a Rochester New York based company, specializing in the manufacture of underwater lighting and SCUBA diving accessories.

For more information, photos or video, please contact:

 

Jim Kennard

email: kennard@rochester.rr.com

 

Dan Scoville

 

 



2
4

4 Comments

anonymous by Maj JM MacFarlane on 6/14/2008
Shipwreck World
your website is most interesting and I thank you for same!!
anonymous by Marlene Scouten on 6/15/2008
Hats off too your team you sure have an interesting job.
Love your web site
anonymous by Sherri Rinebold on 6/20/2008
I was about 8 or 9 yrs. old when I watched that boat sink. I too was living at Ontario on the Lake. It ignited what continues to be a life long interest in shipwrecks and the coast guard service.My family have always been boaters and seeing the coast guard out patrolling the lake was always a comfort to us.
I would like to thank the Kennard team for finding the boat. BM1 George Perry, MK3 Gator Hull and myself, SN Palmer Walker was aboard the vessel on that fateful day. Again, thank you.

Add your comment

by Anonymous - Already have an account? Login now!
Your Name:  

Comment:  
Enter the text you see in the image below
What do you see?
Can't read the image? View a new one.
Your comment will appear after being approved.

Related Posts


Two canal boats that may date back to the mid 1800’s have been discovered in Lake Ontario by a team of shipwreck explorers. Jim Kennard, Roger Pawlowski, and Roland Stevens located the canal boats using DeepVision side scan sonar while searching for...  more »

HMS Ontario, a British warship built in 1780 has been discovered in deep water off the southern shore of Lake Ontario. Shipwreck enthusiasts Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville located the ship utilizing sophisticated side scanning sonar and an underwater remote operated vehicle. HMS Ontario is the oldest confirmed shipwreck and the only fully intact British warship to have ever been found in the Great Lakes.  more »

A rare dagger-board schooner has been discovered in over 500 feet of water off the southern shore of Lake Ontario using deep towed side scan sonar equipment. Sailing vessels of this type were in use on the lakes for only a short period of time beginning in the very early 1800’s. This ship is the only dagger-board schooner known to have been found in the Great Lakes.  more »

A large crane and associated construction equipment with an estimate worth of over $700,000 lost in a violent October gale in 1981 has been discovered by a team of shipwreck explorers in Lake Ontario.  more »

Rochester, New York – The battered remains of the Canadian schooner Ocean Wave, which capsized and eventually sank from a sudden and violent squall, has been found in the depths of Lake Ontario. Shipwreck explorers Jim Kennard, Roger Pawlowski and...  more »

On June 20th 1874 the two masted scow schooner Shannon let loose her lines from the coal dock at the port of Oswego. Around 4:00pm the Shannon passed Oswego light and headed out into the lake. She had just taken on 100 tons of anthracite coal owned by...  more »

A 200 year old US warship may be buried in French Creek Bay near Clayton, New York. A cannon salvaged from the old hull of a shipwreck over a half century ago may be the link to the USS Oneida.  more »

A mid 1800’s Canadian schooner has been discovered in deep water off the southern shore of Lake Ontario near Sodus Point, New York.  more »

Fair Haven, New York - The Canadian schooner Royal Albert has been discovered in deep water off the southern shore of Lake Ontario near Fair Haven, NY. Shipwreck explorers, Jim Kennard and Roger Pawlowski located the shipwreck utilizing a high resolution...  more »

Oswego, NY: At approximately 4:40am on the night of November 17th 1879 the crew of the dredge Gordon fought for their lives in a Lake Ontario gale. Few lived to tell the tale of the last moments before the barge turned on its side and sank in deep water....  more »

Fair Haven, New York - The steamship Bay State has been discovered in the deep depths off the southern shore of Lake Ontario near Fair Haven, NY. Shipwreck explorers, Jim Kennard and Roger Pawlowski located the shipwrecked steamer Bay State utilizing a...  more »

The 152-year-old Canadian built schooner, Etta Belle, has been discovered in deep water off the southern shore of Lake Ontario near Sodus Point, New York. Shipwreck enthusiasts, Jim Kennard and Dan Scoville, located the schooner by using side scan sonar equipment.  more »

Submit your own

Contribute:

Ask a Question

Legend of the Lake - New Discovery Edition Book

The recent discovery of the wreck of the British warship Ontario, “the Holy Grail” of Great Lakes shipwrecks, solves several mysteries that have puzzled historians since the ship sank more than two centuries ago. Now, for the first time, the whole tragic story of the Ontario can finally be told.

Buy Now!