University of New Hampshire Helps Locate Ship That Wrecked in 1894
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire announced that they helped in the discovery of a ship that had been missing since 1894. The university teamed with scientists and archaeologists from Michigan, the Ocean Exploration Trust, and Ben.
I'm sorry, make that “BEN,” which stands for “Bathymetric Explorer and Navigator,” according to UNH Today. BEN is an autonomous surface vehicle operated by UNH’s Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, and provided underwater images that proved vital to the discovery.
BEN snapped the images way back in 2019, but researchers chose not to announce the discovery in order to finish documenting the site before divers could disturb it.
The ship, the Ironton, was a 190-foot schooner barge built in 1873, according to the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. It wrecked on September 26, 1894, after colliding with another ship while stocked with cargo.
Two of the Ironton’s crew members were rescued; but sadly, five others – including the ship’s captain – were lost in Lake Huron, one of Michigan's Great Lakes sitting next to the Canadian border.
What’s amazing about the find, though, is that 129 years later, Ironton is in amazingly pristine condition. Researchers expressed surprise not only at the clear images first captured by BEN, but also the condition of the ship after such a brutal wreck.
New England is on an impressive run in the “lost and found” department lately, especially when it comes to ships and vessels, as a lost ship re-emerged on a beach in Rye, and a New England-built World War II submarine was discovered off the coast of Japan.