Divers all set to confirm discovery of 1812 warship in Lake Ontario

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Ottawa, June 12 (ANI): A team of divers is all set to plunge into Lake Ontario near Kingston, Ontario, Candia, in a bid to confirm the discovery of a legendary Canadian-built ship from the War of 1812, the HMS Wolfe.

According to a report by Canwest News Service, the suspected discovery comes just three years before the 200th anniversary of the war, adding urgency to the efforts to identify a possible new showcase relic for bi-national commemoration activities.

In collaboration with marine archeologists from Parks Canada, the divers plan to take detailed measurements, drawings and photographs of a sunken wooden sailing vessel that appears to match the size and last known location of the famous 32-metre sloop: the flagship of British naval commander James Yeo and star of a dramatic 1813 battle west of Toronto that helped thwart the U.S. invasion of Canada.

"We're hoping it's the Wolfe," said Dianne Groll, a Queen's University psychiatry professor and avid diver who made a preliminary inspection of the wreck site in May.

"We're 99 per cent sure it is," she told Canwest News Service.

"With any luck, we should have the formal survey done by the end of July," she added.

The underwater probe, to be carried out by the Kingston-based heritage group, Preserve Our Wrecks, with support from Parks Canada, will include making bow-to-stern measurements of the rotting hulk, producing sketches and photos of joints, ribs and other telltale features of the ship's construction, and taking core samples of the wood to determine the types of trees used by the builders.

Groll said the wreck has been known about for years and has been studied by federal archeologist Jonathan Moore.

Last summer, Kingston diver Kenn Feigelman generated media attention after taking sonar readings and pictures at the wreck site.

The potential find follows the recent discovery in Lake Ontario of the Revolutionary War vessel HMS Ontario, and last year's Parks Canada-led high-tech probe of the sunken Hamilton and Scourge, two American ships from the War of 1812 that went down in a storm near Hamilton. (ANI)

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