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Lake Erie

Trade Wind

Depth 120ft/ Length 140ft/ Wooden Bark/ Built in 1853/ Sunk on Dec 1, 1854

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Trade Wind was a 3-masted bark, an unusual type for the Great Lakes. She was built in 1853 in Buffalo and met her fate just a few short months after the launch on Dec 1, 1854. Heavily loaded with the cargo of railroad iron, stoves and 2 US Government-issued lifeboats (the lifeboats were transported elsewhere as part of cargo), she encountered a severe winter gale near Long Point. The wheelsman lost the orientation in the storm which resulted in a collision with “Charles Napier” that destroyed the Trade Wind’s own lifeboat. Quick thinking crew unpacked and launched the lifeboat that was part of the cargo and made it to shore without loss of life.

Trade Wind settled on the bottom in 120 ft of water, upright and somewhat intact, especially around the stern area. The masts have fallen down to the port side, the anchor still in place on a bow as well as other numerous rigging items. But it is the stern that makes this wreck a special one. The stern deck is raised above the main deck level forming the cabin/ shelter area and the intact wheel is then placed right in the middle of it, in a recessed area.

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