Country 93

Country 93

Friday, September 14, 2018

JH Jones Shipwreck Now A Protected Site

Cape Croker | by Claire McCormack  

112 year old shipwreck recently found near Cape Croker is now a protected heritage site.

Image supplied by Chris Kohl 

The 112 year old shipwreck the JH Jones recently found near Cape Croker is now a protected heritage site and joins many others in Ontario's Archaeological Sites Database.

Denelle Balfour from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport says that's to prevent damage to the wreck through accidents, looting and deterioration as a result of too many visits.

The JH Jones sank in a storm in November 1906 while traveling from Owen Sound to Manitoulin Island, killing all 30 people on board.

It was found by a team of shipwreck hunters back on July 1st.

Two members of that same team, Ken Merryman and and Jerry Eliason also found the wreck of the Jane Miller in Colpoy's Bay a year earlier. Alongside them, Windsor shipwreck hunter Chris Kohl was instrumental in finding the JH Jones after years of compiling information.  

Balfour says the official designation means any disturbance to the archaeological site would be a violation of the Ontario Heritage Act.

She says the Act helps to protect sites and gives the province authority to license archaeologists.

The divers who discovered the JH Jones were licensed by the ministry.

Balfour says "Upon locating the JH Jones, licensee Ken Merryman submitted a Shipwreck Record Form as well as a marine license report to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport."

She does note however, wrecks may be visited for the purposes of recreational diving and this can include photography for personal use, but going into the wreck is restricted and requires a licence from the ministry.

Those licences are generally restricted to qualified marine archaeologists.

According to Shipwreck Hunter Chris Kohl his team found the J H Jones in less than two hours when they set out to search for it.

He says the shipwreck was found at a depth between 150-200 feet, and there were no traces of human remains in wreckage. According to Kohl, only one body has ever been found.


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