GREAT LAKES SHIPWRECK EXHIBIT IS NOW OPEN!
Pennsylvania Sea Grant and partners proudly unveil "The Great Lakes Shipwreck Exhibition.” This public exhibit is open to the public with free admission now through April 13, 2018 at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) in Erie, PA. The event is hosted by the PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).
The exhibit features stories from throughout the Great Lakes, with a focus on Lake Erie’s treacherous and unpredictable waters. Marine archaeologists and historical researchers have identified as many as 132 sunken ships off the shores of Pennsylvania's 76-mile Lake Erie coastline, with estimates suggesting the number could equal that of a naval fleet. All told, as many as 25,000 sunken ships may lie at the bottom of the five Great Lakes – each with a story to tell.
One of the many stories is that of the tugboat Admiral. On December 2, 1942, her crew of fourteen set out from Cleveland, Ohio on the wintery waters of Lake Erie, towing the tanker barge Cleveco, which was transporting an estimated one million gallons of wartime fuel oil. A fierce winter gale took hold of the Admiral and Cleveco, sinking both ships just off the coast of Ohio. The Admiral’s crew of fourteen and the Cleveco’s crew of 18 all lost their lives that night. Along with the crews, nearly one million gallons of fuel oil went down with the ship.
The disaster of the Admiral and Cleveco and the resulting spill have necessitated the development of emergency cleanup procedures for state and federal environmental agencies.
Just a few years later, in 1946, while walking along the shores of Lake Erie in Pennsylvania at Presque Isle State Park, James Coursey, of Erie, discovered a life ring on the shores of Presque Isle beach from the sunken Admiral. The story of the sinking and the life ring are on display at the exhibit.
Visitors can learn about the underwater process of researching, conserving and surveying these submerged cultural resources, by the volunteers of the Pennsylvania Archaeological and Shipwreck Survey Team (PASST), and see the underwater realm via underwater videos of dive operations and living history interviews.Visitors can also get a first-hand look at the “Cutter” and a nine-pound carronade from the US Brig Niagara, on-loan from the Erie Maritime Museum.
Our thanks to VisitErie.com
for their support and promotion of the exhibit