Century-Old Shipwreck Atop Niagara Falls Breaks Free, Creeps Closer To The Edge

A shipwreck that’s been stuck for a century near the edge of Niagara Falls broke free last week and crept toward Horseshoe Falls. 

Niagara Parks in Ontario, Canada said the iron scow was hit by severe weather on Halloween and moved about 164 feet downriver.

“The scow shifted,” said Jim Hill, senior manager of heritage for the organization, adding that the storm flipped the ship on its side and spun it around. 

“It could be stuck there for days or it could be stuck there for years,” he said in a video released by the parks online. “It’s anyone’s guess.” 

Niagara Parks said the dumping scow broke free from its tug on Aug. 6, 1918, and began rushing toward Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the falls at Niagara. The two men on board opened the dumping doors, flooding the compartments and causing the ship to run aground in some rapids just one-third of a mile from the edge. The two men were saved in a dramatic rescue involving a lifeline fired from the roof of a nearby power station.   

Niagara Parks told the CBC that the scow doesn’t appear to be in imminent danger of going over.

“It looks secure at the moment,” CEO David Adames told the network. “However, if there’s severe weather that comes along, it may shift it some more.” 

Niagara Parks Police warned local tour operators about the ship’s movement. 

“We don’t believe any of the scow would actually float,” Police Chief Paul Forcier told Weather.com. “But we notified (the other agencies) to let them know in case pieces are capable of being swept away from its original site.” 


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