Explorers find the 119-year-old shipwreck at the bottom of Lake Erie

The wooden steam ship Margaret Olwill sank in Lake Erie in 1899, during a storm.

(Historical Collections of the Great Lakes Bowling Green State University)

A 119-year old shipwreck is found on the bottom of Lake Erie.

The wooden steam ship Margaret Olwill sank in 50 metres of water during a nor ‘ ester in 1899. Eight people died, including the captain, his wife and their 9-year-old son.

The National Museum of the Great Lakes in Toledo announced the discovery on Thursday.

“It was a big disaster back in 1899 when it sank,” shipwreck hunter Rob Ruetschele said, according to The Toledo Blade.

Ruetschele, a member of the Cleveland Underwater Exploerers, said that he thought he was the Olwill in 1989. Sonar later it turned out that what he had discovered was a pile of rocks near a sunken tree trunk.

He continued the search, on the basis of historical documents, assigning a 60-square-mile search area from Ohio.

“I dove in the night I found it,” he said, according to the paper.

The Olwill was carrying 900 tons of limestone to Cleveland when it sank.

The four survivors clung to the floating wreckage, and were thrown by Lake Erie waves for hours, Fox 8 Cleveland reported.

A man was described as “more dead than alive” when he was rescued, to the station.

Emergency responders tried to save the man, but he was too weak from exposure to grab a rope that was on him and drowned.










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