George Finnie (Lake Erie’s Newest) Moored

(042-40.087 / 079-36.250)

The shipwreck believed to be the George Finney was moored June 15, 2002. Although the wreck was discovered late last summer and NDA members installed a temporary mooring last fall, the location was keep secret until Doug King completed the video portion of his survey. Most people became aware of the wreck for the first time when Doug debuted his video at our Shipwrecks/2002 Symposium.

The plan was to use the “Charlie E” with its hiab to place blocks on both the Finney and the Niagara. Brian Canter was on hand to help load the blocks.  The boat was skippered by Craig Workman, while Pat Palumbo and Ian Marshall did the diving.

After locating the wreck, the temporary mooring was floated, and markers placed on the bowsprit and 25’ forward of the bow. With the divers back on board, the block and chain were lifted over the side and the boat maneuvered into position over the marker forward of the bow. With one quick stroke of the hacksaw, the 2400# block fell into position. The divers then went back in and attached the ¾” mooring line and foam-filled marker to the chain.  A 5 gal container was added to support the chain off the bottom.  A 3/8” line runs from the top of the chain through a pulley on the bow up to another float. This allows the tag line to remain taught and keeps the whole mess up off the bottom no matter which way the wind is blowing.

The hiab (hydrolic crane) and a 65’ boat made this a far simpler operation than trying to tow out a block under a 4000# lift bag as we did with the Betty Hedger. Unfortunately, the depth sounder decided to stop working as we approached the Niagara and with 6’ seas, we decided not to try hooking into her. We returned to Port with the second block still on board. We will attempt to place it on the Niagara on the Club’s August Charter, if not before.

I would like to thank Wayne Elliot of the International Marine Group for the use of his boat, as well as the City of Port Colborne for donating the blocks. Kudos to the Niagara Divers’ Association for supplying the personnel, line, hardware, etc. The Club has allotted an additional $2000.00 to the mooring project and we hope to get a lot more done.


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