Category Archives: steel products

Liquid Crystal

Casey’s Blog:

Every year before the Lake starts to freeze and after the ice melts, The water gets so clear you think your in some tropical paradise. Until you put your toes into 40f water temp. That always snaps you out of it. This year it’s definitely the clearest I have ever seen it, just like liquid crystal. Here are a couple of neat shots from the other day that really shows the clarity.

The prop

 

Underwater sun rays

 

The wreck

 

Looks like bottom of a pool

 

No sharks below

 

Scary clear

 

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The history of the Sherkston wreck

Since October 1961 the Steel Products has been aground off Sherkston Beach. This abandoned ship has been known as the “wreck” as long as I have been a regular on the Lake Erie shore.

This “wreck” has become a symbol of Sherkston and the reef, a backdrop for countless photos and stories

( click on the photos for a close up)

hobie rescuecirca 1978
hobie rescue
circa 1978

 and a huge part of our lives on Lake Erie’s shore.

I have swam out to it, jumped off the deck ( when it had a deck)

circa 1980
circa 1980
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paddleboarding around the prop

sailed and paddled around it.

sept28 2012 006
fall 2012

Mother Nature has taken its toll on our great symbol of the reef.

steel products 004
where to find the wreck

With that being said I would like to share the history of the wreck.

the crane on the wreck
the crane on the wreck
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steel products
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steel products as venus

The Steel Products was named Venus  for 50 years before being sold to Marine Salvage of Port Colborne. The  346 foot vessel was equipped with a crane and often carried scrap steel.  After a long career she was taken under tow on  October 26, 1961 to be  scrapped at Dwor Metal Co. While anchored in heavy weather she slipped  anchor on Oct. 28th and went aground. The decision was made to strip her  in the spring so a crew of men were left on board for the winter. Come  spring a road was built to her and the engines and part of her hull were  removed. She was built in 1901 in Lorain, OH by American  Shipbuilding Co.

I would like to thank Mike & Georgann Wachter  for sharing this bit of history.

 wachter@eriewrecks.com      www.eriewrecks.com

news file
news file
wreck 1980's
circa late 1970’s

 .

The road that was built for the salvage operation was left in place and became a walk way to the wreck through waist deep water. You did have to swim the last 20 yards or so. Many times the friendly locals would answer calls for help because some one who was not a strong swimmer or some one who had a little too much libation got themselves out to the wreck, but could not get back in.

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spring thaw 2010
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the remains after scrapping

In the early 1980’s the price of steel skyrocketed and scrapers went after what was left of the wreck cutting away much of the hull and deck throughout the winter months. They may have removed the whole thing but the bulldozer they were using fell through the ice and caused some setbacks preventing they job from being finished.

A great place to explore with kayaks and paddle boards,snorkel around as well as fish, this old barge attracts visitors every day.

the sherkston wreck as  seen from the air.
the sherkston wreck as seen from the air.

The recent winters have really taken a toll on the old girl. Low water levels,

rear view wreck and prop during low water
rear view wreck and prop during low water

heavy wind storms,

the wreck during high winds
the wreck during high winds
DCIM100GOPRO
gopro shot underwater

and time have weaken the remaining structure and twisted the bow wreck bow2 wreck bowand rear sections to near unrecognizable forms DCIM100GOPRO underwreck underwreck2

It is only a matter of time before the whole thing falls victim to Mother Natures wrecking ball.

sun set over the wreck
sun set over the wreck
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
the prop

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA IMG_0889 IMG_0651

Below are some recent photo’s from the fall of 2013 and the winter of 2014.

(Thanks to John for the photo’s)

IMG_5512
fall 2013
IMG_5490
fall 2013
IMG_5480
sunset fall 2013
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fall 2013
March 2014
March 2014
march 2014
march 2014
Spring 2014
Spring thaw 2014