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Mooring Project History

In the interest of preserving local shipwrecks by preventing anchor damage, several area dive clubs, shops, charter operators and private individuals banded together during 1997/98 to attach mooring lines to strong points of some of the more popular wrecks in the eastern Lake Erie basin.  It was hoped that as finances became available, to switch the attachment points to concrete blocks for all the vessels in order to offer even more protection.

It appears that someone took a very strong dislike to the project, as during a two week period in August 1998,  four complete mooring systems were stolen from the wrecks of the Brunswick (1), Carlingford (2), and Stonewreck (1). Taken were the complete systems, including ground tackle, chains, lines and buoys (total value over $1200.00). The wrecks were remarked with just line and bleach bottles, but as of Sept 5/98 all listed wrecks again had markers of some type. It was decided, that the only way to proceed was to install legally approved buoys under the Canadian Shipping Act.

Bradd Wilson, Manager of Port Colborne's Sugarloaf Harbour Marina, spearheading a project for the development of diving and tourism in the area, hosted a meeting at City Hall Council Chambers in Port Colborne on April 8, 1999. The meeting was attended by Peter Engelbert  (Marine Archaeologist for the Province of Ontario), Charter Operators, Conservation, Niagara Region and OPP officers, City officials, local divers, and representatives of local dive clubs including the Niagara Divers’ Association.

The Canadian Shipping Act does allow Private Aids to Navigation and the provincial and Federal requirements were discussed at the April 8th meeting.

Subsequently, work permits were applied for and received from the provincial Ministry of  Natural Resources Conservation Authority and nine 3000 pound concrete blocks were placed on six local shipwrecks (Benson 2, Brunswick 2, Carlingford 2, Acme 1, Washington Irving 1, and Stonewreck 1)  by the Canadian Coast Guard. Osprey Dive Charters assisted in the placement of a block on the Betty Hedger {article: The Saga of the Block} in August 2001. Lake Erie Marine Services assisted with placing a block on the George Finnie {article:George Finnie (Lake Erie's Newest) Moored} June 15/02 and Pearl Dive Charters assisted with the placing and moving of blocks on Lake Ontario's Port Dalhousie Schooner wreck {article:Port Dalhousie Shipwreck Moored}July 6& 8th/02. Lake Erie Marine Services again provided assistance with installing a complete system on the Niagara August 24/02 and relocating the stern mooring on the CB Benson and installing a new complete system with buoy on August 25/02. In June , 2009 ASI Group donated their boat and crew to assist us in putting a new block and buoy on the Tiller Wreck {article: New Block & Buoy on the Tiller Wreck}.

Coast Guard with Original Blocks

ASI Group Assisying with New Tiller Block