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Ship That Disappeared 'Suddenly' in Lake Superior Found 115 Years Later

"Not a bit of wreckage was left to mark the spot."

An undated photo released by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society showsa the shipwreck Nelson underwater in Lake Superior. The schooner that sank in 1899, killing nine people including the captain's wife and infant child, has been discovered in Lake Superior, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society said. The group announced this week it had located the 199-foot Nelson about 7 miles offshore from the Upper Peninsula village of Deer Park, Mich. It is submerged in over 200 feet of water and is "amazingly intact," the society said in a news release. (AP/Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society)

While the schooner Nelson took only minutes to flounder in Lake Superior back in 1899, it took 115 years for researchers to find it.

The 199-foot boat went down outside of Grand Marais, Michigan, in poor weather. When it was found by investigators with the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society lying in more than 200 feet of water, it was "amazingly intact," according to the society.

An undated photo released by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society  showsa the shipwreck Nelson  underwater in Lake Superior. The schooner that sank in 1899, killing nine people including the captain's wife and infant child, has been discovered in Lake Superior, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society said. The group announced this week it had located the 199-foot Nelson about 7 miles offshore from the Upper Peninsula village of Deer Park, Mich. It is submerged in over 200 feet of water and is "amazingly intact," the society said in a news release.  (AP/Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society) An undated photo released by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society showsa the shipwreck Nelson underwater in Lake Superior. The schooner that sank in 1899, killing nine people including the captain's wife and infant child, has been discovered in Lake Superior, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society said. The group announced this week it had located the 199-foot Nelson about 7 miles offshore from the Upper Peninsula village of Deer Park, Mich. It is submerged in over 200 feet of water and is "amazingly intact," the society said in a news release. (AP/Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society)

“This is a shipwreck that we’ve wanted to find for a very long time," Darryl Ertel, director of marine operations, said according to the society.

Capt. A.E. White was on another ship in the freezing rain and 50 mph winds in May 1899 and witnessed the Nelson going down, the society recounted. The Grand Rapids Press reported White telling a newspaper after the event that he wasn't even aware the schooner was in danger.

“In a few minutes, she dove to the bottom," White said at the time. “The crew did not even have time to lower their yawl boat. Not a bit of wreckage was left to mark the spot. The Nelson disappeared as suddenly as one could snuff a candle.”

In this undated photo released by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society the the shipwreck Nelson is shown underwater. The schooner that sank in 1899, killing nine people including the captain's wife and infant child, has been discovered in Lake Superior, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society said. The group announced this week it had located the 199-foot Nelson about 7 miles offshore from the Upper Peninsula village of Deer Park, Mich. It is submerged in over 200 feet of water and is "amazingly intact," the society said in a news release.  (AP/Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society) In this undated photo released by the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society the the shipwreck Nelson is shown underwater. The schooner that sank in 1899, killing nine people including the captain's wife and infant child, has been discovered in Lake Superior, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society said. The group announced this week it had located the 199-foot Nelson about 7 miles offshore from the Upper Peninsula village of Deer Park, Mich. It is submerged in over 200 feet of water and is "amazingly intact," the society said in a news release. (AP/Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society)

While 10 people were traveling on the Nelson, only one survived.

“This is a particularly tragic shipwreck," Bruce Lynn, executive director, said in a statement. "Captain Haganey of the Nelson remained aboard his sinking ship to lower the life-boat, which contained the crew, his wife and infant child. Once lowered, Captain Haganey jumped overboard to gain the lifeboat himself. He landed in the water, and upon surfacing witnessed the stern of his vessel rise up as the ship dove for the bottom. The line was still attached to the lifeboat, which took his crew and family along with the sinking ship.”

Captain Haganey was the lone survivor.

The wreck was found using historical records and modern sonar technology. Shipwrecks in the Great Lakes are often well-preserved because the fresh, cold water is less corrosive to ships compared to salt water.

(H/T: Huffington Post)

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