A 60-year-old shipwreck has been discovered in Lake Superior near Thunder Bay.

The Scotiadoc sank in 1953, after colliding with another ship near Trowbridge Island.

Jerry Eliason, a member of the group that found the sunken ship, said it's likely the deepest wreck ever found in the Great Lakes.

His crew found the ship last month, during a night he described as "magical."

"You know, it's dark, it's mysterious. We're looking at the video being beamed up from 870 feet below, and we know that we're the first people to have seen this since 1953,” he said.

Eliason and his partners have been searching for the Scotiadoc for more than a decade.


The Scotiadoc sank in 1953, after colliding with another ship near Trowbridge Island. (Thomas Manse Photo, Courtesy Roger Lelievre)

'Hunting for shipwrecks'

According to a recent article in the Duluth News Tribune, “the 424-foot ship sank after colliding with another freighter in June 1953, resulting in one death.”

The article noted the Scotiadoc was launched in 1904, and spent most of its years known as the Martin Mullen. As the Mullen, it made frequent trips to and from Duluth-area ports. In 1947, it was sold and renamed the Scotiadoc.

For Eliason, who hails from Cloquet, Minn., searching for sunken ships is a hobby like any other.

"For entertainment [some people] hunt deer or they go fishing … I just fell into a group where ... we get enjoyment [from] hunting for shipwrecks,” he said.

The Scotiadoc was found in Canadian waters, just 30 kilometres from Thunder Bay.

It's not the first wreck they've discovered over the years, but Eliason said it could be the deepest ever found in the Great Lakes.

"The deepest wreck previously discovered in the Great Lakes is a wreck called the Isaac Jenkins, that's at a depth of 750 feet."

The Scotiadoc is in water about 30 metres deeper.

Eliason and his friends searched for it by combing through government records and using sonar to pinpoint the ship's location.

A camera lowered to the bottom of Lake Superior provided the final confirmation.