Oswego – Bay of Sunken Houseboats

By

While searching for historic shipwrecks off Oswego we occasionally find modern boats on the bottom of Lake Ontario, the majority of which have been houseboats.  Experienced boaters know that the lake can sometimes change very rapidly from calm waters into high waves without much warning.  Taking a houseboat on a +50 mile journey across the lake from Oswego to Kingston or the St. Lawrence River can be a perilous journey with a very high potential of risk.  Houseboats are not designed to accommodate large waves more than a few feet.  Over the years some people who took that risk lost their boat and sometimes their life.

Here are a few of the houseboats that sank off Oswego that never made it to their final destination:

Chug-A Lug  

With a final "Glug, Glug, Glug" this yet to be identified houseboat ended in 337 feet of water about 6 miles north of Oswego.  The heavy growth of mussels on the boat would indicate it has been on the bottom for a long time.  A New York registration number of NY 1921 DS appears above one of the side windows.  Perhaps someone can remember the details of this long gone houseboat.

Sea Rover

In September 1973, the owner of a shipyard in Clayton, NY set out on Lake Ontario to deliver a 32 foot houseboat to the new owner in Oswego.  He was last seen around 6 PM at a marina in Cape Vincent were he filled both gas tanks for the +50 mile trip to Oswego.  Travelling at night added another level of risk to his lake journey.  The houseboat sank in deep water enroute between Galloo Island light and Oswego.  His body was never found.

Harborfest - Houseboat

During Harborfest '93 northwest winds were kicking up eight-foot waves on Lake Ontario.  A 32-foot houseboat was out on the lake that day.  The little, calm-water vessel didn't stand a chance, and foundered in 32 feet of water two miles west of Oswego Harbor. The two men aboard were rescued by the Coast Guard.  The houseboat is now the new home of plenty of bass and perch.  The real name of the vessel is all but forgotten.  Local divers began referring to it as the "Harborfest Houseboat".  The name stuck after it appeared in a newspaper's trivia article in 1996.

E Zee CRUZ'N

In July 2003, grandparents with a 3 year old child attempting to return to Canada encountered six foot waves which overturned their houseboat when 8 miles off Oswego.  They had been advised by the US Coast Guard not to set out in the lake but decided to go anyway.  They radioed the Coast Guard for assistance but provided incorrect GPS co-ordinates.  Fortunately this happened during the 2003 Pro-Am Fishing Tournament and fishing boats Trout One and Candy saw the flares that were fired signaling distress.  The E Zee CRUZ'N sank within a few minutes.  The couple and young child were rescued by the fishermen and brought to the Oswego Coast Guard station for observation and then released.

 



0
0

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


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 »

Rochester, New York - The wreckage of the schooner Atlas which sank in 1839 during a gale has been located in Lake Ontario. The Atlas may be the oldest confirmed commercial schooner discovered in the Great Lakes. A team of shipwreck enthusiasts, Jim...  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 rare dagger–board schooner, Three Brothers, has been discovered in deep water off Oswego, New York by a team of shipwreck enthusiasts. Jim Kennard, Roger Pawlowski, and Roland Stevens located the schooner in early July utilizing high resolution...  more »

The British steamship Nisbet Grammer, the largest steel steamer to have foundered in Lake Ontario has been discovered by a team of shipwreck explorers. Dan Scoville, Jim Kennard, Craig Hampton, and Roland Stevens located the steamer thirty miles east of...  more »

The wreck of a U.S. Air Force C-45 aircraft abandoned during flight by its crew in 1952 has been located in deep water off Oswego, New York. Crippled by the failure of one of its two engines the plane continued on a 65 mile pilotless flight until it...  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 »

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 »

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!