102-Year-Old Missing Shipwreck Discovered in Lake Huron

For the last 30-plus years, 74-year-old shipwreck hunter David Trotter has been in pursuit of his white whale, a missing vessel called Hydrus.

In early July, Trotter and his crew were out scanning the clear summer waters of Lake Huron when a large outline appeared on his LCD screen. The sonar trailing behind his boat was imaging something detailed enough to register individual cargo hatches, and they knew almost immediately that the hunt for Hydrus was over.

Earlier this month, after several dives down to the wreck to confirm its identity, the crew announced that Hydrus had at last been found. The Detroit Free Press was on the scene and has footage (below) of both the initial sonar discovery and the subsequent dive.

Hydrus likely went down on November 9, 1913, during the worst storm ever recorded on the Great Lakes. The Great Storm of 1913 claimed 250 lives and 19 ships, and is referred to as the "Big Blow," the "Freshwater Fury," or the "White Hurricane." The blizzard-like conditions led to 90 mph winds and waves up to 35 feet.

The 436-foot steamship was carrying iron ore when it sunk, and had successfully made its way through Lake Superior—the largest of the lakes—before it started its journey south on Lake Huron. With a barometer as their only instrument, the crew had no idea what they were in for. The ship soon started to take on water as waves crashed over the stern, and eventually lost power, succumbing to the violent November waters.

All 22 members on board Hydrus died. Some quite incredibly managed to make it onto lifeboats, but the small vessels were ill-equipped to handle the conditions. One of those boats eventually made it to shore on the Canadian side of the lake with five crew members sitting upright, frozen to death. Among them were a pair of brothers, Kernol and Leslie Christy.

Today, 102 years after the tragedy, Hydrus is in remarkable condition. A sign covered in zebra mussels helped confirm what Trotter and his crew already knew: that this was the ship they’d been looking for. It’s sitting upright on the floor of the lake, and while there is damage, the cold water conditions have preserved much of it. Divers can even swim through the ship.

It’s an incredible conclusion to a decades-long hunt. Trotter told the Detroit Free Press that he’s logged about 2500 square miles in all, scrolling back and forth on a massive grid. For now, he and the other shipwreck hunters are keeping the location of the Hydrus to themselves as they continue to explore the site. After 30 years, finders keepers seems only fair.

Paris is Selling Its Love Locks, and Donating the Proceeds to Refugee Organizations

Paris officials have turned an urban problem into a public service: They’re selling the city’s “love locks” as souvenirs and donating the proceeds to refugee groups. The Guardian first reported the news back in December, and now—beginning on Saturday, May 13—the locks will be auctioned off online.

For traveling couples, the padlocks they affixed to the iron grills of the French city’s bridges, initials scrawled on the surface, were a symbol of romance. But to Parisian officials, they were a civil danger. Fearing that the locks would weaken overpasses like the Pont des Arts, the city began dismantling the metal trinkets in 2015.

Left with 1 million padlocks (which totaled 65 metric tons of scrap metal), authorities needed a creative way to repurpose the waste. So they decided to sell 10 metric tons of locks to members of the public, marketing them as relics of the city’s bygone history.

“Members of the public can buy five or 10 locks, or even clusters of them, all at an affordable price,” Bruno Julliard, first deputy mayor of Paris, said in a statement quoted by The Guardian in 2016. “All of the proceeds will be given to those who work in support and in solidarity of the refugees in Paris.”

The locks will be sold in a variety of lots, some of them just as a single souvenir, others in groups. Smaller lots are expected to sell for anywhere from $100 to $200, while pieces of the padlocked railings could go for as much as $5000 to $9000 apiece. Proceeds will benefit the Salvation Army, Emmaus Solidarity, and Solipam.

99-Year-Old Woman Checks "Spending Time in Jail" Off Her Bucket List

When a senior looks back on his or her life to assess their triumphs and regrets, “not getting arrested” typically falls into the former category. But according to the BBC, a 99-year-old woman in the Netherlands wished she had spent time in the slammer. To help her achieve this unconventional bucket list dream, law officers let the woman, named Annie, hang out in a jail cell—with handcuffs on—at the police station in the eastern Dutch town of Nijmegen-Zuid.

Annie has her family to thank for the experience. "Her niece came to us with this request," a police officer told the BBC. "When she was reporting a crime, she told the police officer about Annie's 'bucket list.'"

"You get many unusual requests with this profession," he added. "We thought it would be nice to do something special for Annie."

Politie Nijmegen-Zuid/Facebook

As you can see in the photos above, Annie’s brush with the law was a blast. However, she isn’t the only senior who has wondered what life is like behind bars. Last year, a 102-year-old woman named Edie Simms from St. Louis, Missouri was faux-arrested per her own bucket list request. Police teamed up with a local senior center to make Simms’s dream come true. "She was so excited that she can ride in a police car and she said, 'Do you think you could put those handcuffs on me?'" Michael Howard, executive director of Five Star Senior Center, told KPLR. Talk about centenarians gone wild!

[h/t BBC]


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