Shipwreck Society finds “Bad Luck Barquentine”

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The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society is celebrating the discovery of a “Bad Luck Barquentine” in Shipwreck Coast of Lake Superior.

Back in 1869, The Nucleus sank in a September storm while carrying a load of iron ore.

This ship was no stranger to accidents. It had already sunk twice before and was involved in 11 accidents. In 1854, it rammed into and sank the S.S. Detroit.

We spoke to Corey Adkins of the shipwreck society on why discoveries like this are important, “It helps tell the story of our country. These guys were out there in the lakes doing a job. At that point in 1869, there was no Coast Guard. There was barely a United States Life Saving Station.”

When the Nucleus was caught in a bad storm on Lake Superior, it started to take on water. The leak became so bad the crew had to abandoned ship to their lifeboat. 

The Nucleus crew spotted the S.S. UnionThe officers reportedly spotted the Nucleus crew struggling in the storm- but chose leave them behind.

They were eventually picked up by the Schooner Worthington- and no one died. Which is about the only good luck the ship had in its short run.

There’s a lot of shovels among the wreckage of the ship- which represent the work that the crews had to do. They were responsible for manually shoveling iron ore on and off the ship.