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Discovery of a Shipwreck off Toronto Island with CHAA Aircraft Recovery Team

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When an underwater search is being conducted, the searchers can sometimes come across the unexpected.       

In the late summer of 2021, members of the Canadian Harvard Aircraft Recovery Team set out to search for an aircraft in the water south of Toronto Island on a Zodiac boat operated by Shark Marine Technologies Inc. of St. Catherines, Ontario and carrying Shark Marine’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicle. For those unfamiliar with this fairly new type of high tech equipment, an AUV is basically a robotic submarine which resembles a small torpedo. After being launched, the AUV will conduct a grid search pattern independent of human control, using it’s internal sonar to map the underwater environment. The data is downloaded after the AUV has returned to the boat.

Toronto Island Wreck

Upon reviewing the data obtained by the AUV, an unknown object was spotted on the sonar readout and divers were sent into the water to visually identify this object. (within recreational diving limits) It turned out to be a sunken boat of fairly recent vintage, although not a historic wooden shipwreck, but an interesting and unexpected find nonetheless.   

About Shark Marine                                 

Canadian company Shark Marine has been finding things of interest beneath the waves for over 35 years, is a world leader in high tech underwater sensing equipment and has done underwater work for Navies and government organizations. Have a look at their website for some fascinating videos and photos: www.sharkmarine.com.

Canadian Harvard Aircraft Recovery Team (CHAA)

The Canadian Harvard Aircraft Recovery Team, is an all volunteer organization, whose members donate their time and effort to finding Canadian Aircraft of WWII vintage and if possible locating the remains of the aircrew so that the families of these veterans can have closure. 

Read the Scuba News Canada Article on Search for Barry Newman’s P-51 Mustang

Not all veterans died overseas, and the team needs donations from the public for fuel and accommodations to continue these searches.  A Go Fund Me Campaign has been initiated by Geophysicist and team member Bill Thuma to raise funds to go toward the search for Flying Officer Barry Allen Newman and his P-51 Mustang that crashed in Lake Ontario near Picton in 1952. This campaign also supports searches in the St. Lawrence River.  

Click on this “Go Fund Me” link to assist: bit.ly/BarryNewman

Thank You Mike McAllister for the submission of this article. Video Credit Paul Chapple @ YouTube

Article by Mike McAllister. Follow Mike on Facebook


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  1. Pingback: Canadian Harvard Aircraft Recovery Team (CHAA) Survey and Dive Search For Barry Newmans P-51 Mustang - Go Scuba Diving Bahamas

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