Unbelievable Discovery: 1940 Shipwreck Found in Lake Superior’s Depths!

The depths of Lake Superior, known for its cold, unforgiving waters, have long concealed the stories of many ships that met their demise within its expanse. However, a recent discovery has brought to light the tale of the Arlington, a merchant ship that sank in 1940, offering a glimpse into a bygone era of maritime history. This article explores the discovery of the Arlington shipwreck in Lake Superior, shedding light on the circumstances of its sinking and the significance of this find.

The Fateful Voyage of the Arlington

The Arlington, a 244-foot bulk carrier, embarked on its final journey from Port Arthur, Ontario, on April 30, 1940, laden with wheat and bound for Owen Sound, Ontario. Under the command of Captain Frederick “Tatey Bug” Burke, a seasoned navigator of the Great Lakes, the Arlington was accompanied by the larger freighter, the Collingwood. As they traversed Lake Superior, they encountered dense fog followed by a storm that battered both vessels. Despite the first mate's efforts to navigate a safer course along the Canadian North Shore, Captain Burke decided to steer back into the open lake, a decision that would seal the Arlington's fate.

The Discovery of the Arlington Shipwreck

Decades later, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, along with shipwreck researcher Dan Fountain, announced the discovery of the Arlington in about 650 feet of water, some 35 miles north of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. This find was made possible through remote sensing techniques that Fountain, a resident of Negaunee, Michigan, has been employing in Lake Superior for around a decade. The discovery of the Arlington shipwreck in Lake Superior not only adds a new chapter to the lake's maritime history but also provides closure to the family of Captain Burke, who went down with his ship.

The Significance of the Discovery

The Arlington shipwreck's discovery in Lake Superior is more than just a historical footnote; it represents a tangible connection to the past, offering insights into the challenges faced by those who navigated the Great Lakes. The ship's well-preserved state, despite the harsh underwater environment, allows researchers and historians to piece together the events leading up to its sinking. Moreover, the story of Captain Burke's final moments, as he remained with his ship, highlights the perilous nature of maritime life and the bravery of those who sailed these waters.

Technological Advances in Shipwreck Discovery

The successful location of the Arlington shipwreck underscores the advancements in underwater exploration technology. Remote sensing, along with other modern techniques, has revolutionized the way researchers search for and study shipwrecks. These technologies not only facilitate the discovery of previously unreachable wrecks but also ensure the preservation of historical artifacts for future generations. The collaborative effort between individual researchers and organizations like the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society exemplifies the importance of combining expertise and resources in uncovering the mysteries of the deep.

Final Thoughts

The discovery of the Arlington shipwreck in Lake Superior serves as a poignant reminder of the risks and sacrifices inherent in maritime trade and navigation. It also highlights the relentless curiosity and dedication of those committed to uncovering and preserving our maritime heritage. As we reflect on the significance of this find, we are reminded of the countless stories still lying beneath the waves, waiting to be told. The Arlington's story, now brought to light, enriches our understanding of the Great Lakes' maritime history and the enduring human spirit that navigates its waters.

As technology continues to advance and more discoveries are made, each shipwreck found not only answers questions about our past but also raises new ones, encouraging us to keep exploring, learning, and preserving the stories of those who came before us. The Arlington shipwreck in Lake Superior is a testament to the power of human curiosity and the ongoing quest to connect with our history, one discovery at a time.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here