Mysterious Shipwreck Lies Beneath New York Lake

90-foot canal boat discovered last year
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2014 11:38 AM CDT
Mysterious Shipwreck Lies Beneath New York Lake
A boat sits near a dock on the western side of Cayuga Lake.   (AP Photo/Ann Levin)

Divers were scanning the bottom of an Upstate New York lake last year when they stumbled upon a 19th-century boat, well-preserved but mysterious. Experts don't know the name of the canal boat in Cayuga Lake, nor do they know when it sank, the Ithaca Journal reports. They do know that it was built between 1828 and 1850, it's full of coal—likely from Pennsylvania—and it ended up half a mile offshore from Aurora. "It's exciting, you found a shipwreck, says one of the divers. "But it's really somebody's tragedy, and you feel that."

A local expert figures a storm is probably to blame for the wreck. "I imagine a boat traveling heavy, with a bulk cargo like that, was more likely to be taken down in a storm," he notes. The 90-foot boat is 70 feet underwater. To learn more, local records, like old newspapers and insurance information, may hold the key, the Journal notes. "We don't have any facts," says the expert. "I'm sure that there's no way we could figure out what (the boat's name is) by looking at the boat. We'd have to find some kind of account." (In Canada, meanwhile, investigators have identified a shipwreck they were very much hoping to discover.)

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