Local Shipwreck Enthusiast Makes a Significant Find

Oct 30, 2013

A local shipwreck enthusiast says one last sweep of a section of Lake Ontario paid off in the discovery of a nearly century-old ship.

Jim Kennard of Fairport has been searching for shipwrecks for 35 years.

He and his team were wrapping up the season when sonar found something 300 feet down about 16 miles from Oswego.

A remote-operated vehicle confirmed it was the wreck of the Canadian steamer "Roberval," which went down after it was hit by a rogue wave in 1916.

Seven of the ship's nine crew members survived, some of them by building rafts out of the lumber the ship was hauling.

Kennard says the find is significant because the Roberval was one of only two steel-clad ships still undiscovered in Lake Ontario.

The other, the Nesbitt Grammer, sunk in 1926.

Kennard says he and his team will likely resume their search for that wreck next season, despite the fact it's likely in 600 feet of water.

He says they plan to return to that area to dig up more maritime history.

Kennard says there are pictures, video and the story of the Roberval at shipwreckworld.com