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Sunday, January 14, 2024

Filmmakers Unintentionally Uncover 128-Yr-Previous Shipwreck in Lake Huron


  • Filmmakers taking pictures footage of invasive mussels in Lake Huron discovered a shipwreck from 1895.
  • The “Africa” had been carrying coal from Ohio to Ontario, and was carrying 11 sailors.
  • The wreck is roofed in invasive quagga mussels which are altering the Nice Lakes’ ecosystem.

A pair of filmmakers who spent two years taking pictures footage for a documentary about invasive mussels within the Nice Lakes unintentionally found a 128-year-old shipwreck that vanished in 1895.

The wreck is believed to be the “Africa,” which was carrying coal — together with 11 doomed sailors — from Ohio to Ontario in October of 1895, earlier than disappearing into Lake Huron amid an early season snowstorm, in keeping with the filmmakers.

Over a century later, Yvonne Drebert and Zach Melnick acquired a tip from scientists whereas they have been engaged on their documentary.

“Scientists doing an offshore fish survey had observed an anomaly on their sonar readout, mainly an uncommon bump on an in any other case flat lakebed,” Melnick stated in a press launch. The couple, who specialise in underwater videography, grabbed their ultra-low-light, high-resolution digital camera system, and journeyed out to the positioning of the anomaly, anticipating to seek out “a pile of rocks.”

As a substitute, when their remotely operated car descended 85 meters, “an enormous construction loomed up from the depths — it was a shipwreck. We could not imagine it,” Melnick stated.

The wreck was tough to establish — pictures from the filmmakers present the ship is roofed by the invasive quagga mussels which have been overhauling the ecosystem of the Nice Lakes.

quagga mussels on shipwreck

Each inch of the “Africa” is roofed with invasive quagga mussels, which have been plaguing the Nice Lakes for years.

Courtesy of Yvonne Drebert and Zach Melnick



However the filmmakers stated that with the assistance of a neighborhood maritime historian and a marine archaeologist, the “Africa” emerged because the likeliest risk. The vessel’s measurements matched that of the “Africa,” plus Melnick and Drebert noticed coal scattered throughout the lake backside close to the wreck.

“There are such a lot of quaggas filtering the Nice Lakes, that the lakes are as much as thrice as clear as they have been earlier than the mussels,” Drebert stated within the press launch. “The quaggas are the explanation we’re in a position to see the shipwreckin virtually 300 ft of water with none extra lights. However they’re additionally accountable for making wreck identification within the Nice Lakes extremely tough.” 

The couple’s documentary, “All Too Clear: Beneath the Floor of the Nice Lakes,” might be launched in early 2024.



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