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 Information
Rock Island Shoal

Type:     Shipwreck
Build:     1861
Location:     Rock Island Shoal, United States
Depth:     115 feet
Built:     1861
Sunk:     1889
Length:     136 feet
Access:     boat
Level:     Intermediate / Advanced
Orientation:     Upright

 Description
The A.E. Vickery sunk after the captian received incorrect direction from a river pilot, and struck Rock Island Shoal. The captain was extremely distressed to the point of pointing a revolver at the hapless pilot.

The Vickery is one of the nicest wrecks in the Brockville area. It''s not flashy and there is no particular "must see" item, but it is a nice wreck as a whole.

Like most wrecks in this region you have to fight the current to get to it, but once on the wreck it provides enough shelter you won''t have to fight (much) to stay there.

There is a windlass on the upper deck, along with what looks like a section of mast and several openings to the hold which can make for a fun swim through. Damage and deterioration to the upper deck has made some areas unstable so penetrate at your own risk (inside is about the only area you will experience a total lack of current which makes it even more attractive). Two of her masts lie on he bottom just forward of the stern on the starboard side, and her entire rudder appears in tact.

When you descend the mooring line you hit the bottom at about 15'' then work your way along a line that leads over a ledge to the wreck in about 80'' of water. The bow is facing into the current and makes for an excellent place to start.

While the current is a bit of a handicap it has several advantages too. Visibility here is usually excellent, there is no silt accumulation to be stirred up, fish love it so there are more here than on your average wreck, there''s no thermocline, and Brockville enjoys some of the warmest water temperatures in the province. It is also one of the least likely of places (other than quarries and puddles) your trip will get blown out by high winds and waves.

In the past few years the number of sponges here have increased dramatically, to the point that EVERY zebra mussel in some areas has what looks like a tiny little sponge growing on it, filter feeding in the current.

Caution: Because the line to the wreck goes over a ledge it rubs on the rocks in the current it appears to get cut frequently which can make finding the wreck an adventure unto itself. The line usually leads to the bow but on my last two visits it had been severed. This is more of an issue here than many other locations because the wreck lies in the shipping channel, and popping to the surface to find out where you are is NOT recommended.
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