Jul 18th, 2009 by Tom

Wreck Summary

Type  Shipwreck
Build  Wooden

 Brockville or Prescott, Ontario

Depth  28 feet
Length  191 feet
Built  1868
Sank  1889
Access  Shore
Experience Level  novice


Sunk in a collision, dynamited for practice, and in a current at shallow depth for more than a century, you’d expect that there would be little left of such a wreck. But the Rothesay believes differently. Once called the "Greyhound of the St. Lawrence" for her speed and graceful lines, the paddle-wheel steamer still makes for a nice dive, which can have some current to contend with.

The signature item of this wreck could be the sizeable twin boilers but is likely the remains of the two paddle wheels (see upper left photo). Just forward of the wheels the wreck has been flattened by explosives, and there is considerable damage to the lower stern (from the collision) and the lower portion of the bow which allows you to look up through the structure of the ship.

After colliding with a tug (which also sank) and her barge which did damage to two separate areas, it was believed the Rothesay could be raised and repaired, but high wind and waves tore the ship apart within days.

If you’re up for a challenge, see if you can find the information plaque on the wreck, which is visible in one of the photos on this page. Save Ontario Shipwrecks has produced a diagram of the site which can be seen at http://www.saveontarioshipwrecks.on.ca/Diverguides/dguide5.html - while it may appear from the drawing that the paddlewheels are still upright, that is not the case. A buoy and a line from shore make the wreck easy to find.


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