CLUE has been searching for and finding shipwrecks since its formation.  The first shipwreck was found off Barcelona, New York, on August 1, 2001, by assisting Osprey Charters operator Jim Herbert in locating an unknown wood barge dubbed Barge F in 145 feet (44 m) of water.  It had been discovered two decades before by searcher Garry Kozak but had never been re-located or explored.  Since then other wrecks located and publicized by CLUE include an unidentified wood tug dubbed the 117th Street Tug (found October 1, 2002) off Lakewood, Ohio, and an unidentified, highly broken wood wreck dubbed the CSU Wreck (found October 11, 2004) off Cleveland, Ohio.

David VanZandt (left, hat) and Kevin Magee (standing, right) assist divers during the survey of the barge Craftsman (Photo by Maritime Archaeological Survey Team, MAST).

Plan view of wooden Barge F. (Large View)

The barkentine Cortland located by CLUE in 2005.

The barkentine Cortland located by CLUE in 2005. Top: Sketch of bow. Bottom: Sidescan sonar image of the entire wreck. (Large View)

The most famous shipwreck located by CLUE was found on July 30, 2005.  The barkentine Cortland was located off Lorain, Ohio, in 60 feet (18 m) of water.  It was located due to the efforts of CLUE Chief Researcher Jim Paskert.  This ship sank in a collision with the side paddlewheel steamer Morning Star on June 20, 1868.  Both ships sank with a great loss of life, and the event was widely reported and followed by the press of the time.  The Morning Star was located by modern divers several decades ago, but the Cortland was never found and was widely sought.  This wreck represents not only the final missing piece of this tragic story but is also an example of the large sailing vessels that would later become commonplace on the Great Lakes in the bulk cargo trade.  The discovery of the Cortland made national press after publication by the Cleveland newspaper The Plain Dealer.

Sidescan images of the barge Craftsman.

Sidescan images of the barge Craftsman. (Large View)

CLUE has formed a close working relationship with the Great Lakes Historical Society (GLHS), based in Vermilion, Ohio.  Since 2006 CLUE has been sponsored by GLHS.  CLUE has also assisted the Maritime Archaeological Survey Team (MAST), a group of volunteer enthusiasts who are performing archaeological surveys of Ohio’s shipwrecks with the assistance of the GLHS and underwater archaeologist Carrie Sowden.  In 2004 CLUE assisted MAST by obtaining sidescan images of the Craftsman barge and crane to help prepare a site plan and to locate all objects in the debris field.  In 2005 CLUE performed the same service for the schooner-barge Dundee.  The resulting sidescan images of the Dundee were featured in both Imagenex advertising and on the cover of Underwater magazine.

Sidescan sonar image of schooner-barge Dundee.

Sidescan sonar image of schooner-barge Dundee. (Large View)

CLUE continues to research and discover the underwater cultural heritage of Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes. Visit their web site at:

View other CLUE posts on the MUA:
The 2012 Season
The 2011 Season
The 2010 Season
The 2009 Season
The 2008 Season
The 2007 Season
An Introduction

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