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“Ship Wreck” Found in the NYC Basin?
November 29th, 2011 @ 09:46 AM EST by admin

On October 16th, while running the water taxi out to the outer basin, Calvin Chapman spots something floating in the most easterly gap in the break wall. It appears to be a large piece of a beam that was partially sunk but as it was floating, it was creating a real hazard to any boat that would run against it. So he attached a line to the beam and started to pull it out of the way, into the basin itself. What appeared at first to be just a beam, turned out to be a massive structure, measuring some 40 feet long, and at its widest point, about 5 feet high. And the main part of the object totally waterlogged and dragging along the bottom.

Calvin got it moved over to the west side of the NYC island with the help of some member volunteers and tied it off. Walter Kowalchuk contacted me and the next day, I suited up and did a dive to examine the object in greater detail. It appeared to be almost the same structure as the wrecks I have dived on in Tobermory – the side of an old wooden sailing vessel! It was massive. It was very solid, made up of 10”x10” beams about 12 feet long. It was sitting in about 15 feet of water and even then, Storm King actually ran onto the object. It needed to be moved as close to the wall as possible. I found that I could just lift the bottom end and slowly walked it over close to the wall. And to be certain that it didn’t get away again, we chained it to the wall.

Here’s a rough drawing of what we found:

Walter called the Port Authority and they suggested that we contact the City of Toronto. After several messages and emails, contact was made and an inspection visit was planned for November 3. With Walter and Henry Piersig, and the four from the City, we went over to the island on Storm King and examined the object. After a brief discussion, they wanted to move the object over to the north wall of the basin where they would be able to access the water with one of their truck-mounted cranes from Coronation Park. So we towed her over to the wall and the City team took over. Mike Daniels and his crew were very skilled in attaching straps to the object and then lifting it clear of the basin and onto shore. They plan on cutting it up into manageable lengths and disposing of it. A job well done!

There is not really any understanding as to what the object might have been from, or where it came from. It may be part of the break wall structure, as a section just collapsed at the west end of Ontario Place. Any ideas would be most welcomed.

Don Weston, Chair
NYC Mooring Committee