“Hart” of Superior

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This video of the “Judge Hart” shipwreck was shot back in the summers of 2001 and 2002 by Terry Irvine with Sony Digital 8 cameras and HID video lights. Also present at the dive were Jeff Post and Richard Kelch. Diane Post  was the trip leader.

Terry, Jeff, Richard and Diane had just re-discovered the wreck after it originally was found back in the mid 1990’s. The original musical score is by Willie McCullough (as per the video credits). The water temperature was 41F top to bottom, and visibility was approximately 40 feet.

This is a fantastic wreck that is not dove on too often.The Judge Hart is located in Ashburton Bay near Neys Campground in the North East corner of Lake Superior. It is in the same general area as CPR 694 is located.

Read the Scuba News Canada article on “Locomotive’s sinking adds bizarre twist to Superior’s legend” Judge Hart is one of a number of shipwrecks in Northern Lake Superior. Built in 1923 from steel, it was known as a “canaller” (freight boat). It had a length of 253 feet and a beam of 43 feet. But even with it’s size, it fell victim to the “Gales of November” in 1942.Hart was travelling from Port Arthur with a load of grain, and decided to take refuge in Jackfish Bay, as the weather worsened, which at the time was a smart move. There was ice built up on the ship and this made accurate depth sounding very difficult for the crew members. Because of this, the ship grounded on Fitzsimmons Rocks. John Ericsson and James B. Eads, two steamers nearby pulled the Hart free, but her pumps could not keep up with the water engulfing the ship. The order was given to abandon ship. The ship came to it’s final resting place in Ashburton Bay. There was no loss of life, and at the time of it’s sinking, it was carrying 101,500 bushels of wheat.This is considered a deep technical dive, as the Judge Hart rests between 170 to 195 feet. A diver lost his life diving this shipwreck in 2017.  The ship lies upright and intact. The wheelhouse remains intact because of the ice build-up from the storm.  At Hart’s stern you can take a look into the engine room and the galley and see the dishes left behind.

Thank you videographers Terry Irvine, Jeff Post and Richard Kelch and a special thank you from Terry to Diane Post, the trip leader.

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Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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