Jump to content

Lake Champlain and Great Lakes smugglers

This topic has been inactive for at least 365 days, and is now closed. Please feel free to start a new thread on the subject! 

Recommended Posts


Whiskey on the lake






Not smugglers but a shipwreck


"December 2, 1854....She was said to be carrying a strongbox full of gold and valuable brandy and premium whiskey worth millions today."


Northern Michigan: Discovering the Westmoreland Treasure Ship


"..The whiskey, which if intact could be worth millions of dollars, was unable to be seen since the hold was collapsed under the weight of decks above it. Richardson discovered an access hole into the hold but with virtually no room to move within it.

“I wouldn’t go in there. I don’t need a drink that badly,†Richardson quipped."

Edited by Jono
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok guys,

I have a boat. All we need now is a couple lengths of garden hose for air, a mask and half a dozen of the skinniest SM members.......Whose in?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't forget the lead weights and a bucket! The wreck must not be too deep, but probably in the 100' range.

I wonder how the whiskey barrels would have held up after 159 years, if any survived being crushed but the upper decks.

My guess, is if they were stacked together they could hold a tremendous weight distributed across them.

Fresh water - cold - the wood still probably was eaten through by worms or other creatures - small holes...or the wood swelled and either

is tightly closed or leaked the whiskey away. But, who knows, there could be intact whiskey down there.


"...Lake Michigan's water temperature ranges between 40 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, with the southern end of the lake sometimes reaching up to 60 degrees in the summer months. The cold, fresh water act to preserve shipwrecks in a way that warm, bacteria-fostering water and corrosive salt cannot. Wooden vessels more than a century old rest on the bottom of Lake Michigan nearly intact. If the same vessel sank in the Caribbean, its wooden structure disintegrate in just a few decades."

Read more: Lake Michigan Wreck Diving | eHow http://www.ehow.com/about_6616324_lake-michigan-wreck-diving.html#ixzz2T80d24Jg

Link to comment
Share on other sites


The Lizzie D Shipwreck New York's Wreck Valley

".... In July of 1977, captain John Larsen located the wreck. He discovered that this was not just a sunken tug boat, but a prohibition rum runner. Joan Fullmur recovered the ship's brass bell which identified the wreck. Also recovered were portholes and crates full of 100 proof Kentucky bourbon and Canadian rye whiskey. This first group of divers on the Lizzie reported that the whiskey "still smelled good".

I wonder, what is the "legal status" of such whiskey? Will the Feds seize it for unpaid tax? The law of the sea re wrecks is complicated.

Jurisdictions, claims, etc.


Shipwrecks and the law


Federal & State Laws, Acts and Statutes

Effecting Great Lakes Shipwrecks

".....As such, if you are caught removing anything from any Great Lakes wreck that is over 50 years old and is not privately owned, you will be prosecuted and will need to defend yourself against felony charges. In most cases, prosecuted divers have chosen not to challenge the ASA as a defense. In such cases, the charges have usually been reduced, but the divers lost their equipment and paid big legal fees and fines. In cases where divers have chosen to challenge the ASA, nearly all have been successful in getting out of the charges. However, it has been extremely costly personally, financially and professionally. As such, unless your goal is to get publicity, further erode the ASA, or to spend a few hundred thousand dollars to own an underwater pile of boards, it probably isn't a good idea to take anything from a Great Lakes wreck."

Edited by Jono
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.