Click here to visit our FAQ about America's Historic Lakes Click here to return to the home page Click here to see our site map with links to historic sites on the lakes Click here to visit the Table of Contents for the 300+ pages on the site Click here to search the site Click here to learn about the use of images on the site Click here to contact us

The Online Resource for Historians, Educators, Students and Visitors since 1997
This is a graphics-intensive publication, to fully experience the site we recommend you have JavaScript enabled.

 

 
Guest Contributors...           Edwin R. Scollon

Diving Lake Champlain...
The Valcour Bay Research Project-IX
 

Recovery Preparations
(Topside)

Project divers Greg Durocher, Ed Scollon, Dennis O'Neil and Roger Harwood discuss recovery preparations.
Project divers Greg Durocher, Ed Scollon, Dennis O'Neil and Roger
Harwood discuss recovery preparations. Photo by Jim Millard.

        In partnership with...

 


In the days prior to the June 30th artifact recovery, the biggest challenge for the VBRP members was preparing the cannon’s muzzle for its lift to the water’s surface.  It still lay beneath a deep layer of silt and clay.  In order to effectively prepare the muzzle for its final ascent, the muzzle had to be brought above the sediment and securely rigged.

VBRP members discussed their options for several days before agreeing on what they believed would be the safest course of action.  A rope harness would be attached to the cannon below.  A series of straps and hand-winches would run between the harness and a boat on the surface.  The team would use the buoyancy of the boat and the power of the winches to pull the cannon above the bay’s floor.  A wooden pallet could then be placed underneath and the cannon gently lowered to it.  The pallet would prevent the cannon from sinking back into the silt and allow the divers to prepare it for the final stage of its recovery.

Several conditions would complicate this first phase of the cannon’s recovery.  Once the silt was disturbed, a heavy silt cloud would develop and the divers visibility would be reduced to near zero.  As the team started to pull the gun from the sediment, the winches would have to overcome the weight of the gun (several hundred pounds) and the suction created by its removal.  Once the gun was free of the sediment, the team would also have to maintain full control of the boat above.  Above all else, the team would have to ensure the safety of each and every member as it worked.

The team would have to be separated into two groups, one at the surface and one at depth.

 Click on the thumbnails below to see full-size images of the preparations.

Photos by Jim Millard
©Valcour Bay Research Project and The Lake Champlain and Lake George Historical Site

 IMPORTANT NOTE: Artifacts on the bottom of the lake are the property of the People of the States of New York and/or Vermont by law. It is illegal to remove or damage them under State Law(s) without the appropriate clearances and permits. Removing them and transferring them across state lines violates Federal law & makes one liable to Federal prosecution.

Greg Durocher, Ed Scollon, Dennis O'Neil and Roger Harwood discuss preparations for recovering the artifacts.

Some of the items used to prepare for the raising, seen are a weighted pallet, winches, and sturdy straps.

Project leader Ed Scollon checks his equipment.

Dennis O'Neil looks on as Ed Scollon prepares to dive.

Preparing to dive.

One of the boats preparing to release project divers.

Roger Harwood (small boat) tosses a line to another one of the project boats.

Project divers in the waters of Valcour Bay.

Dennis O'Neil in the water.

Ed Scollon with his underwater video camera.

Ed Scollon snaps a photo of Jim Millard recording the action.

Project leader and cannon discoverer Ed Scollon.

Divers Ed Scollon and Roger Harwood.

Ed Scollon surfaces.

Going in...

Another project diver goes into the waters of Valcour Bay.

Roger Harwood.

Roger Harwood suiting up.

Roger Harwood and Ed Scollon discuss tactics at the surface.

Ed Scollon brings up one of the archeological permit signs from the bottom of the bay.

Continued here:
Recovery Preparations- Underwater

Back to the VBRP HOME PAGE

 

Other links about Valcour Island and the Battle of Valcour within
The Lake Champlain and Lake George Historical Site

The Battle of Lake Champlain:
The American Revolution on Lake Champlain

Download a copy of The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's Official VBRP Cannon Raising Commemoration Program- Click HERE.

Also of interest: LCMM's Valcour Island Battlefield Preservation

*America's Historic Lakes is a favorite of educators around the world. You can feel confident that the material
on this site is accurate, well-researched, properly cited and presented.

Creative Commons License
America's Historic Lakes by James P. Millard and Guest Contributors is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

 Privacy Policy


James P. Millard
Post Office Box 262
South Hero, Vermont 05486-0262
contact@historiclakes.org

Terms of Service and Disclaimer of Liability

The historical information on this web site is provided as a public service by James P. Millard. I  have attempted to be as accurate as possible in my presentation of this historical material. However, I make no claims, guarantees or promises about the accuracy, currency, or completeness of the information provided. In no event shall the publisher; James P. Millard, be liable for any errors or omissions with respect to any information on this site. Material submitted by guest contributors and published on the site is the property of the contributor and may be removed at any time at my discretion or upon request of the contributor. This website occasionally provides links to sites of other organizations maintained by third parties. These links do not constitute an endorsement of the content, viewpoint, accuracy, opinions, policies, products, services, or accessibility of that website. Links to third-party websites are provided as a public service and convenience to users of our site; James P. Millard/America’s Historic Lakes does not control, endorse or recommend the content on sites we may link to. Once connected to another website, you are subject to the terms and conditions of that website.