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Underwater Video Confirms 100-Year-Old Lake Superior Shipwreck

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 1, 2013 6:00PM

A group of shipwreck hunters were able to confirm a Lake Superior shipwreck they discovered in late May was a freighter that sank 100 years ago.

The Henry B. Smith was located by the group outside of Marquette, Minn. May 24 but they weren’t able to get confirmation is was the Smith until a second trip to the site last week, according to the Duluth News Tribune. Jerry Eliason of Cloquet, Minn. and Kraig Smith of Rice Lake, Wis. Were able to read the lettering spelling out “Henry B. Smith” on the ship’s stern and caught a glimpse of the name on its bow. They located the Smith's wreckage site with data used by Eilason and his wife to pinpoint a specific search area.

Eliason also described how the 525-foot ship came to rest more than 500 feet below Lake Superior’s surface.

It’s like a “V,” Eliason said — broken in the middle, with the largely intact bow and stern sections rising up from the lake bed amid a spilled cargo of iron ore. “The propeller and rudder are high off the bottom,” Eliason said. “It’s like it broke in the middle (on the surface) and both ends v’ed down into the pile of iron ore.”

Eliason said recording the video footage was a bit hazardous, since the mast is still standing and guide wires on the bow snagged the camera for over 30 minutes. The Henry B. Smith sank in November during a massive storm that claimed all 25 of its crew. Only two bodies washed ashore.

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