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Lake Superior research ship snags sunken century-old barge

Lake Superior has turned up a new wreck not far from Thunder Bay.

US Coast Guard ship Kiyi caught something in its net at the beginning of July

Lake Superior has turned up a new wreck not far from Thunder Bay.

An American fisheries research vessel accidentally snagged an old barge that may have sunk in the Cloud Bay area more than 100 years ago.

Superior Underwater Exploration Society members like Richard Harvey hope to clean up a century-old barge sitting at the bottom of Lake Superior to make it safe for divers to explore. (CBC)

Nipigon Mayor Richard Harvey said the US Coast Guard ship Kiyi caught something in its net around the beginning of July, and had to cut itself loose.

Harvey was part of a local dive team that went down with sonar apparatus last weekend to take a closer look.

“We just hovered around the bottom of the lake bed. And Chris Berner, the fellow I was diving with, simply pointed behind me,” he said.

“I turned around and there she was. There’s nothing like coming on to something that has been sitting in its watery grave for over a 100 years.  And no one has seen it.”

Richard Harvey has helped discover a 100 year old barge in Lake Superior. 6:51

Harvey said there are stories of a schooner pulling a barge that sank in that area more than a century ago.

The wreckage needs to cleared of netting and rigging to make it safe for divers to explore in future, he said.

"We want to obviously get back out there. We've located the barge. We'd like to see what else is out there,” Harvey continued.

“The big issue [is] … there's very heavy-duty nets that were hung up on that wreck.”

Harvey is vice-president of the Superior Underwater Exploration Society.

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