A Canadian shipwreck has been discovered off the coast of the Keweenaw Peninsula. Today the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum announced the discovery of the SS Arlington, a 244-foot bulk carrier, 600 feet below the surface approximately 35 miles north of Copper Harbor. In In23, following research by Dan Fountain, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum used the crew of the RV David Boyd, to tow sonar technology above the anomaly. Fountain had discovered a curious anomaly in the shape of a shipwreck in the location during 10 years of research while reviewing remote sensing data of Lake Superior.
The Arlington set out on its final voyage on April 30th, 1940 on a foggy Lake Superior. As the gray day turned to night, fog conditions turned into a storm that battered the Arlington and Collingwood ships. As the Arlington began to take on water its first mate ordered the ship to hug the northern Canadian coast to seek shelter from the wind and waves. However, the Arlington’s captain countered and kept the ship on its planned course. At 4:30 am on May 1st Arlington’s chief engineer sounded the alarm for the crew to begin loading lifeboats. All of the Arlington’s crew were safely picked up by the nearby Collingwood, besides its captain who remained aboard the sinking ship. Much speculation still surrounds Captain Fredrick “Tatey Bug” Burke’s decision to remain in the lake’s open water and his decision to go down with the ship when he had time to leave for safety with his crew. It’s said that the crew’s last sight of Captain Burke saw him near the pilothouse waving to the Collingwood minutes before the ship sunk below the surface.
The discovery of the SS Arlington was a complete team effort. The Great Lakes Shipwrecks Museum thanks Dan Fountain for his groundwork for the discovery. GLSM recognizes the tremendous work of the region’s shipwreck historians and researchers who lay the groundwork for many shipwreck discoveries. Fountain says that it’s an exciting discovery that perhaps closes a chapter in the ship’s story.
Those interested to learn more can find more details here.