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Shipwreck - 'City of Owen Sound' / 'Saturn'

Discussion in 'Ontario' started by Huron_Flipper, Mar 9, 2019.

  1. Huron_Flipper

    Huron_Flipper Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Goderich ON
    Funny thing is I've been reading SB for a few years. I finally signed up to ask about this ship and what do you know someone's looking for it! I love that someone's looking.

    I'm not great at finding things.... in 2006 Goderich sank a laker lifeboat off the main beach. I've been trying to find it by random scuba swims for a few years now. The people who put it there are dead or gone somewhere else! Crazy that small knowledge lost in such short time.

    Maybe you'll stumble on the barge full of turn of century Ford cars lost "up north" from Goderich!
  2. maj2

    maj2 Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Windsor, Ontario Canada
    Chris Kohl's "Dive Ontario Two!" (1994, page 132) describes a location for the City of Owen Sound/Saturn. The wreck is not mentioned in his other, more recent books that I know of.

    There is a shoal on marine charts known as Saturn Rock that is just off the channel coming out of Stokes Bay on the north side of Lyal Island. Kohl attributes this rock's namesake as the City of Owen Sound/Saturn. He gives the following as "directions": "Line up the last two buoys at Stokes Bay and head out to 85 feet (25.5 metres) of water, and you will be at the site of the Saturn." That's it for directions-- no GPS coordinates, etc.

    My parents used to have a cottage in the lee of Lyal Island, but I never did find the wreck or dive it. Mind you, I did not spend much time trying.

    Kohl also references a 1901 article from the Duluth Evening Herald that describes the loss. It mentions the wreck as being abandoned 40 miles northwest of Southampton, and that the crew of 12 effected a landing in one of her small boats only seven miles from Southampton. The Lyal Island lighthouse was erected in 1885, and the site proposed by Kohl would be within sight of this light. That the crews spent 7.5 hours in the lifeboat, going 33 miles back towards Southampton while within sight of the Lyal Island lighthouse seems odd to me, although I suppose things would not always go to plan in such a storm.

    I am leery of the site report, and am just reporting what I have in "Dive Ontario Two!" If you go searching, there is a boat ramp at Lakeside Park if you turn towards Lake Huron at Ferndale on the Bruce Peninsula and go straight to the lake. The ramp is right behind Lyal Island. If yo cant find the Saturn, there is another wreck called the Goudreau nearby (mostly broken up steel plates left after it was salvaged), and some other points of interest around Lyal Island including a cement hulled tugboat (high and dry on shore, as well as the remains of the old light station. A description of the sights was publishing in a kayaking newsletter at Circumnavigation of Lyal Island
    Jared0425 likes this.
  3. Jared0425

    Jared0425 Public Safety Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Detroit, Michigan
    Great information maj2.

    I've been discussing the wreck and details with @Huron_Flipper the last few days. I dont trust the accuracy of Cris's books, but I can see about the area. And get an idea of depths. Having a tow fish, I prefer a "stable" bottom with not a ton of cliffs mounds and drop offs so farther from shore and is usually the best conditions for that.

    Currently working on a quick pass with a 50khz in that area. If works out correctly the steam tug Eclipse should be in that general vicinity. 3 passes 1400' apart 5 miles long. However my main objective is the JC and working out a starting point for that one. All weather and work dependent of course. But this steamer has captured my attention.
    maj2 likes this.

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