144ft Shipwreck Of ‘Nucleus’ That Sank 150 Years Ago Found In Lake Superior

A 144-foot vessel that sank over 150 years ago in Lake Superior has finally been found, officials associated with a shipwreck museum declared on Wednesday.

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society mentioned that a Barquentine sailing vessel dubbed the”Nucleus”; was discovered in 2021. It was found 600 feet underneath the lake’s water, approximately 40 miles northwest of Vermilion Point. The steamship reportedly sank on September 14, 1869.

Officials said that The Nucleus is one of the oldest vessels to sink along Lake Superior’s shipwreck’s coast. Per the society, The Nucleus sank as it was sailing with a load of iron ore from Marquette.

150 Year Old Shipwreck
Image for representation purposes only

The group mentioned that the vessel found itself caught in a storm and began taking on water. The leak compelled the crew members to abandon the ship and take it to the lifeboat.

Soon after, The Nucleus happened to sink, adrift in the lifeboat for hours, the crew hailed a vessel passing by, but it did not pause to help out. Officials mentioned that another ship had come by and picked them up.

That was not the first time The Nucleus landed under the water. It had sunk twice previously, historians mentioned. In 1854, it reportedly rammed and sank in Lake Huron, the side-wheeler named S.S. Detroit.

Fast-forward to 2021, the society reportedly found that the vessel was using sonar technology. Officials mentioned that it’s in an unexpectedly good state.

The stern had been intact, Darryl Ertel Jr., the director of the historical society’s marine operations and the one who found the vessel, mentioned in a statement. 

It boasted a straight-back stern, and the port side of the vessel was intact too. And so, he was more excited about it as, at first, he thought it was in pieces on the bottom.

A Barquentine bore three masts, more popular by the 19th century as it needed a relatively smaller crew than other cargo vessels.

References: Detroit News, Star Tribune

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