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Learn More About the St. Peter Shipwreck, Lake Ontario

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The St. Peter is a historic Great Lakes schooner that was lost at sea in Lake Ontario near Pultneyville in Wayne County, New York. She was built in 1873 and had a length of 135.7 feet (41.4 meters), a beam of 26.0 feet (7.9 meters), and a depth of hold of 12.1 feet (3.7 meters). When she sank on October 27, 1898, her hold contained 607 short tons (551 tons) of “chestnut coal.”

The St. Peter had just left Oswego, New York, with a full load of coal, on her way to the safety of the Welland Canal, when a storm hit her with 70 mph winds. In order to reach the canal, the ship was turned back east to run ahead of the wind, but the crew’s efforts during 12 hours of darkness, 20-foot high seas, gale-force winds, and freezing sleet were futile. Captain Griffin’s wife and all three hands were lost; only Captain John Griffin survived.

Diver Information

  • East of Pultneyville, New York
    Access is only by boat.
    117 feet in depth
  • Visibility ranges from 20 to 100 feet. 45 feet on average.
    Temperatures range from 40 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit.
    Open water diver with advanced skills.
    Bottom: Silty and flat.
  • If the seas are 3 feet or higher, strong currents may exist.
  • Lake Ontario weather is unpredictable and can quickly change from good to bad.

The St Peter was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.


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About Author

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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