U.S. Navy Vessel Scourge
The United States Naval vessel Scourge had a figurehead which was carved in the likeness of the British hero, Lord Horation Nelson. The Scourge had previously been a Canadian merchant ship called the Lord Nelson, which had been captured and renamed by the Americans. The armed schooner Scourge went down in a fierce storm on Lake Ontario in August 1813. She was patrolling with a sister ship, the Hamilton.
Lake Ontario had seen a lot of action in the War of 1812, with major movements of troops and supplies. Because of this, shipbuilding around the area had grown immensely. The Scourge had been given extra guns, which made her top-heavy, and when the sudden squall hit her, she swamped and sunk to the bottom of Lake Ontario with most hands perishing.
The sixty foot long schooner lay forgotten for the next 158 years until Marine Archaeologists went looking for her. They researched old logs and records and deduced the area where the Scourge may have gone down. The scientists used underwater magnetometers which can detect significant amounts of iron such as cannons. Once a magnetic anomaly had been detected, a side-scan sonar was utilised to ascertain the shape and size of the sunken ship. But sonar readings could not definitely identify a sunken ship, so it was necessary to use a Tethered Remotely Operated Vehicle (TROV) which carried television cameras to take pictures of the lake floor.
The Scourge was excellently preserved with the hull, ship fittings and equipment being in relatively good condition due to being immersed in fresh, cold water. Most of the rigging is missing but most of the masts remained. Later on, a Remotely Piloted Vehicle (RPV) was used to get even better pictures of the Scourge.
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