Home > Trip Report > Rothesay, Prescott

Rothesay, Prescott

(Photo from Roy Letts website http://home.cogeco.ca/~rletts/Shipwrecks/Rothesay.html)

The First dive of the year… In cold water! It was -5c and sunny this day on March 3 2012. Anxious for the season to start my dive buddy Fannie drove from Montreal the day before just to see what the water looked like. With no ice to be seen it was game on!

The Rothesay was a good choice for us to break the ice with on account of the shallow depth and weak current.

After checking and double checking our equipment Fannie and I waded out into the St Lawrence.

(Photo found from the Dive Tech website http://www.divetech.ca/dive_sites.html)

As the water seeped into my neoprene hood and lobster gloves i noticed my Aladdin 2G was reporting 0 degrees C. We swam out to the buoy where the line to the wreck begins.

(Photo by Christian Lloyd-Kohls)

(The Philadelphia Record, Sept 14 1889)

5-10 mim following the seaweed covered line we found the remains of the steamer Rothesay.

(Photo by Christian Lloyd-Kohls Nov 27 2011)

A debris field is what you come across once the line ends. The shape and orientation of the wreck isn’t immediately obvious, but details start emerging as one begins to move about. Turn left and you’d find the stern with rudder still attached, go straight to find whats left of one of the paddlewheels, or turn upstream to the right to discover the boilers and bow.

(Toronto Daily Mail, Sept 26 1893)

(Photo by Christian Lloyd-Kohls)

“The sunken steamer ROTHESAY was blown up at Prescott by R.M.C. officers. The wreck was considered a dangerous navigational obstruction. Cost $368.96

Removal of Obstructions

Marine & Fisheries Report

Sessional Papers, Federal

2-3 Edward V111.,A. 1893″

(Photo by Christian Lloyd-Kohls)

(Photo by Christian Lloyd-Kohls)

Deck hatch

(Photo by Christian Lloyd-Kohls Nov 27 2011)

(Photo by Christian Lloyd-Kohls Nov 27 2011)


(Photo by Christian Lloyd-Kohls Nov 27 2011)

(Photo by Christian Lloyd-Kohls Nov 27 2011)


(Ottawa Citizen Sept 21 1964)

Where did all the treasure go after the 1967 centennial celebrations? It may be time to start researching the Underwater Society of Ottawa. It sounds like they would have some fantastic stories ๐Ÿ™‚

It was a great 42min dive to kick off the season. I always gain more respect for these wrecks after investigating them. Lives were lost, some people became shipwreck survivors, salvage attempts were made, other boats ran into her, RMC blow it up, it was forgotten, it was found, and now its being visited almost daily.

  1. April 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Great article on a local wreck of my area. I worked with a Joe Finucan years ago and it was his great great uncle that was on the Myra. Great job incorporating the micro film articles into your story.
    After 2400+ dives I still refuse to dive dry so my season has not begun yet ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Cheers ad great job again.
    Mike Fournier the owner of the St. Lawrence River in the Brockville area ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Greenstein
    April 11, 2012 at 4:11 pm

    Very interesting information! Perfect just what I was searching for!

  3. Nootropics
    April 14, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    I reckon something genuinely interesting about your site so I saved to my bookmarks .

  4. Bernie Joiner
    January 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    One of my first dives with the Underwater Society of Ottawa was on the Rothesay (1970). I would like to know what became of this club along with its coordinator Andre F Lamirande. I recall ‘Andy’ telling me that the artifact were donated to “Wheelhouse Maritime Museum” under the direction of the Museum of Science and Technology Ottawa.
    Most of the artifacts were salvaged from vesels in the Ottawa River south of Chaudiere Falls.

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