80 ft (24.4 m)
2 miles off Simcoe Island, Lake Ontario, Canada
~ GPS Shipwreck Location ~
Latitude: 44° 8' 19.14" N Longitude: -76° 35' 2.5188" W
The Comet, a 337-ton a twin paddle wheel steamer, was built in 1848 at Portsmouth, Ontario. She was was powered by two "walking beam" type steam engines with a 51-inch piston. The Comet was a passenger steamer with a length of 174 ft in length and has a beam of 24 ft.
In May 1861, on her first voyage of the season, the steamer left Kingston for the last time. Strong winds were out of the southwest as she cleared Nine Mile Point off the westerly end of Simcoe Island. The Comet altered course toward Timber Island and gave a wide berth to three sailing ships on the horizon. An hour later, the Comet and the schooner "Exchange" collided when the Exchange attempted to run for safe harbor from the storm. Both ships attempted to stay close to help out the other but the wind took the schooner out of hailing distance. The Comet kept its steam engines running and, in an attempt to make shore, managed to travel to within 2 miles (3.2km) of Simcoe Island before the captain had crew and passengers abandon ship in lifeboats. Two crewmen were lost trying to bail out the large yawl which the Comet towed astern. The survivors were set safely ashore on Simcoe Island, while the Comet sank about 1.5 miles off the Island in about 90 ft of water.
The Comet lies in 90 ft (28m) of water, with her paddlewheels still upright, though much of the top decking has collapsed