Shipwreck Hunters Stunned by Discovery, hunters were shocked to discover a ship that sank in Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake, in 1940.
The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society and shipwreck researcher Dan Fountain announced Monday the discovery of the 244-foot (74-meter) bulk carrier Arlington in around 650 feet (200 meters) of water, 35 miles (60 kilometers) north of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula.
Shipwreck Hunters Stunned by Discovery at Bottom of World’s Largest Freshwater Lake
On April 30, 1940, the Arlington left Port Arthur, Ontario, fully loaded with wheat, bound for Owen Sound, Ontario, under the command of Captain Frederick “Tatey Bug” Burke, a Great Lakes veteran.
However, as the Arlington and a larger cargo, the Collingwood, traveled across Lake Superior, they encountered dense fog and then a storm after nightfall that pummeled both ships. The Arlington started to take on water.
The Arlington’s first mate directed the ship to hug the Canadian North Shore, which would have afforded some wind and wave protection, but Burke overruled and directed the ship back across the wide lake, according to the discoverers.
On May 1, 1940, the Arlington began to sink, and the ship’s chief engineer raised the alarm. The crew began to evacuate the ship “out of fear for their lives, and without orders from Captain Burke,” according to a statement.
Except for Burke, who went down with the Arlington, the entire crew arrived safely aboard the Collingwood. According to reports, he was last seen near the pilothouse, waving at the Collingwood, just minutes before his ship disappeared into the lake.
According to the shipwreck society’s statement, “no one will ever know the answer” to why Burke acted as he did before his ship was lost.
“It’s exciting to solve just one more of Lake Superior’s many mysteries, finding Arlington so far out in the lake,” Fountain said in the release. “I hope this final chapter in her story can provide some measure of closure to the family of Captain Burke.”
According to Bruce Lynn, executive director of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, Fountain, a resident of Negaunee, Michigan, discovered the Arlington after conducting remote sensing in Lake Superior in search of shipwrecks for almost ten years.
Fountain approached the group with “a potential target” around the northern extremity of the Keweenaw Peninsula; the Arlington was identified last year. Lynn stated.
“These objectives don’t always result in anything… but this time it was a shipwreck. “A wreck with an interesting, and possibly mysterious, story,” he stated in a statement. “Had Dan not reached out to us, we might never have located the Arlington.”