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HMS Ontario

Discussion in 'Underwater Treasures' started by Lobster_cowboy, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Lobster_cowboy

    Lobster_cowboy Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: PA
    I'm sure most have heard about the long awaited discovery of the HMS Ontario found in over 500 ft of water in Lake Ontario. The ship went down in 1778 with a full crew, full armaments and a load of prisoners that were being transported to a new prison.

    To my knowledge the locations has remained a secret while the legal owners, the British government and the State of New York and Canada ponder its fate.

    My idea is to bring the ship up whole and complete. Unfortunately this would cost an unbelievable amount of money. With the state of the economy this would even be harder. But let's just say that money was no object. How could this be done and what would be the benefits to humanity.

    To bring it up would require building a giant under water aquarium consisting of a bottom approximately 30X90 feet and four sides say 30X30 (2) and 90X30 (2). All would have to be assembled by deep divers somehow lifting the ship up slightly to slide the bottom piece under the ship and then attaching all four side. After this was completed then the whole unit would be attached to large cranes on a ship and very slowly brought to the surface where it could then be transported to a land side to put into an environmentally controlled building where the water temperature could be kept cold and chemicals added to prevent deterioration of the wood etc.

    It this was possible would it be worth the effort. It would be the only intact war ship of the Revolutionary War period. I suppose that part of the upkeep for the ship could be made by charging a fee for people to observe the ship through portholes in the walls etc. How could the required amount of money be raised? This are all good questions with very few answers.

    Well what do you all think?
  2. DCBC

    DCBC Tech Instructor

    Tough job. It most likely would require a detailed recon of the wrecksite and the development of an on-site catalogue (marking pieces for reconstruction as required). Generally 500' of working depth justifies saturation, so a DSV with saturation capability would be required. If bottom extraction was to be successful, it could be undertaken in a number of ways. For large wrecks, this is usually done by hydraulic pullers and possibly a jack-up barge. This would cost a fortune and likely it would not substantiate the cost. Alternatively, it could be brought-up in pieces and reconstructed.
  3. fjpatrum

    fjpatrum Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: DC area
    Why not just create a giant sling, like they do for whales? Much simpler than an aquarium and you wouldn't have to lift the weight of the water.

    I doubt you could ever lift it in one piece though... if they even decided to bother.

    EDIT: Disregard my sling, somehow I missed the fact that this was a wooden ship. Probably wouldn't stay intact with a sling. I think a better thing to do than bring it up would be to make some really good HD videos of the thing, where it is. Much cheaper and still preserves the history while still actually preserving the ship.
  4. Sask Diver

    Sask Diver Photographer

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Edmonton Alberta Canada
    Would this not be considerd a grave site, therfore not possable to do?
  5. klauricella

    klauricella Nassau Grouper

    Fill it with ping pong balls just like on mythbusters
  6. ohmdiver

    ohmdiver Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: ohmdiver@hotmail.com
    If money and morals aside...raising it would be interesting...there are several sites around the world that have done something similar.

    as it sits it is well preseved the mast are still upright...see vid..

    YouTube - HMS Ontario Shipwreck

    additional in Lake Goerge is Americas oldest known intact divable wreck...
    can't seem to find any video but try looking it up...

    Lake goerge diving Radeau Preserve

    or head to the St. Lawrence River either the Canadisn side or the us...several old and still intact wrecks from nearly the last 200 years... The A.e. Vickery is a wooden wreck in 70 - 120' and The America, and the Keystorm , the Daryea to name a few.

    Leave it there at some time in the future we may be able to dive it....
    just my 2 psi...
  7. nadwidny

    nadwidny Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Edmonton, Alberta
    A search on how the Mary Rose and Vasa were brought up would give an idea on how this could be done, although these were substantially shallower than 500'.
  8. akdeepdiver

    akdeepdiver Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Iowa Park, TX
    Why even consider bringing this ship up? It is a military grave site, let those Sailors and soldiers rest in peace. This would be the same (although on a smaller scale) or trying to raise the USS Arizona, or HMS Royal Oak to put on display. Just my two cents.
  9. nadwidny

    nadwidny Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Edmonton, Alberta
    Same reason the Vasa and Mary Rose were brought up.

    Without getting into the emotional argument of dead vs "resting", if in 300 years time someone wanted to raise the Arizona or Royal Oak (not that there would be anything left of them) there would be probably no resistance to doing so. WW2 wrecks are still too new to be considered archaeological sites without the emotional ties.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

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