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NIAGARA II ARRIVES IN TOBERMORY

November 1, 1998
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The picture files to the right all lead to larger images. These may take a bit to download.

On Sunday October 25th, the Niagara II arrived in Tobermory, towed by the "Miseford of the Nadro Marine fleet. The owners of the vessel, the Tobermory Maritime Association plans on making her diver ready by early May and scuttling her just outside the Fathom Five Underwater Park boundary.

As Secretary for the Tobermory Maritime Association I would like to bring you up to speed with our current project, "The Sinking of the Niagara 11", and to ask for your help.

Our first major, and probably the most news worthy, activity was the purchase of the 182' freighter the "Niagara II". The "Niagara II" was built in 1930 by the Furness Shipbuilding Company Ltd. of Haverton Hill-on-Tees, England. She had a gross tonnage of 723 , 35'3""beam and a 13' draft. Launched as the" Rideaulite" she worked for Imperial Oil on the Montreal to Ottawa route by way of the Lower St. Lawrence canals and the Ottawa River. In 1954 her name was changed to the "Niagara" and she was converted to a self unloading sand sucker at Toronto Dry Dock Ltd. At this time the wheel house was moved aft. In 1969 she became the "W.M. Edington" and had several members of our present day community as crew. She had several owners over the next few years and in 1972 was converted to diesel.

In 1984 her name was changed to the "Niagara II" and in 1990 the she had her engines removed and was converted to a barge. By 1997 McKeil Marine had decided to sell her for scrap and this is where the Tobermory Maritime Association came in.

What would Tobermory want with an old freighter? This being the Scuba Diving Capital of Canada, the answer became obvious. ...Sink it!

We are of the opinion that sinking the Niagara 11 near Tobermory will enhance "The Scuba Diving Experience" for anyone coming here to dive. From the newly certified enthusiast to the diver who has been here, seen it, and got the T-shirt, so to speak.

We are currently looking at several sites to sink the ship in approximately 90-100' of water. This would place the wheelhouse and upper works in about 30' of depth. This wreck will be placed so that all levels of certification will get the ideal diving experience. Having done a lot of work on her so far, I can tell you that she will make an ideal shipwreck. The superstructure will offer area's of overhead and easy penetration in shallow water, while the engine room and forepeak will offer more challenging area's to explore.

As you very well must imagine, a project of this magnitude is quite costly. We initially budgeted $100,000.00 however at this time it would appear that the final price tag for creating this new divesite will come in at closer to $130,000.00. We have already raised $25,000 ( mostly through donations from local businesses) and have obtained a line of credit of $45,000.00 to proceed with this project, however we need to raise a substantial amount of money to complete this endeavor.

We are going to be affixing stainless steel, or brass plaques to the ship in a permanent manner. Individual plaques about the size of a credit card go for $100.00 these are popular for individuals who would like their name placed on the wreck. More appropriate for a Dive Club, or other organization is the corporate plaque (about the size of a license plate). For $500.00 your Club name will be immortalized for future generations of divers to see, every time they dive the Niagara 11. We are soliciting the help of dive clubs and shops throughout Ontario, Michigan, Ohio, and New York State through our plaque program. It is quite conceivable that with these contributions the Niagara 11 project will be bought and paid for by the time she hits the bottom in early May.

We will be organizing work weekends on the Niagara 11 throughout the fall and winter, if you are able to participate please let us know and we will email you the dates. (conceivably every weekend other than Christmas Holidays)

Should you require anymore information regarding the project and wish to help out, do not hesitate to call me at 519-596-2289 or email me at tatours@log.on.ca and I will respond to you as soon as is possible.

Kind Regards,
Ray Davis
Secretary, Tobermory Maritime Association

 
 
 
Niagara II
Niagara, Stern
Nigara, Bow
Niagara, Bow
Niagara Wheel House
Purchasing the Niagara II
   

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