Thursday, July 06, 2006

Major wreck found off Métis sur Mer in the Gaspé (Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Canada)

Mont Joli – Bathymetric surveys conducted by a hydrographic team from the Canadian Hydrographic Service, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, have recently located four wrecks.  The purpose of the surveys, made aboard the Frederick G. Creed, is to make detailed maps of the sea floor in the St. Lawrence estuary and gulf using multibeam echo sounders.  The discoveries were made from May 6 to June 5 between Cap à l’Aigle and Matane.

The most important of the wrecks discovered is probably that of the SS CAROLUS, a merchant vessel requisitioned for World War II which was torpedoed by a German submarine during the Battle of the St. Lawrence in October 1942. This wreck is located some eight nautical miles (15 kilometres) off Métis sur Mer; it measures about 85 metres by 20 and lies at a depth of 245 metres.  Its profile rises about 11 metres above the sea bed.  The size and position of the wreck closely match those mentioned in documents about the SS CAROLUS.  A second wreck is thought to be that of the Bernier et frères, which sank in 1952.  The other two have yet to be identified, but all four have been reported to Transport Canada’s Receiver of Wrecks.

These discoveries were made in the course of a seafloor mapping project undertaken under Canada’s Oceans Action Plan, by the Canadian Hydrographic Service and Natural Resources Canada.  The goal of this joint project is to gain a better understanding of the marine environment and identify areas for protection.  The St. Lawrence estuary and gulf are one of five areas in Canadian waters identified for detailed mapping.


Karina Laberge
Communications Advisor
Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Quebec Region
(418) 775-0744