Shipwreck: John J. Boland Jr.


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This week we're going to talk about a shipwreck located in Lake Erie, about 10 miles off Barcelona, NY. The steel, propeller-driven steamer used to be called the "Tyneville" until Captain R. Scott Misener purchased the ship in 1928 for his firm, the Sarnia Steamship Company. He renamed the ship after a business ally, John J. Boland Jr. This steamer was a 1939-gross-ton ship that was constructed at the tail end of the boom years of the roaring 1920's. This vessel had crossed the North Atlantic Ocean and worked the Great Lakes for only four years before succumbing to one of Lake Erie's notorious squalls.

The John J. Boland Jr. sailed out of Erie, PA on the morning of Wednesday, October 5th, 1932 on it's way to Hamilton, Ontario. The ship was overloaded with coal and due to that, one of the hatches was left open. The coal overflowed the deck by the open hatch. Because Lake Erie is the shallowest of the five Great Lakes, it can produce unpredictable weather. Later on in the day, the winds from the Southwest picked up and created waves which pounded the Boland. Due to the ship's instability of being overloaded with coal, the waves washed the deckload off the port side and the Boland took on water. Within four minutes, the John J. Boland Jr. could take no more and sank.

John J. Boland Jr.

Dimensions: 252'x 43'x 17'
Cargo: Coal
Depth: 95'- 136'
Access: Boat
Diving Skill Level: Master Diver and higher

Dip 'N Dive will again be chartering the "Southwind" via Osprey Charter on August 16th at 8am as a part of the Master Diver course. The John J. Boland Jr. will be one of two wrecks that we'll be diving. If you're a Master Diver or higher and you're interested in going, please call 716-837-3483 to register. There are only a few spots left!

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