Uncovering a shipwreck three centuries later

 

A sketch of what Le Griffon, which disappeared in 1679, looked like. Courtesy of the Great Lakes Exploration Group

A sketch of what Le Griffon, which disappeared in 1679, looked like. Courtesy of the Great Lakes Exploration Group

 

Built by French explorer Rene-Robert Sieur de La Salle, the vessel “Le Griffon,” or “Griffin” in English, was the first vessel to sail the Great Lakes. The ship was an important supply line to support La Salle’s expedition in search of the mouth of the Mississippi River. However, the ship was disappeared in 1679 and hasn’t been found since.

Following years of research, Steve Libert, president of the Great Lakes Exploration Group, discovered something he suggests may be the Griffin’s bowsprit submerged in Lake Michigan. Recently, his organization received a permit to conduct a test evacuation in hopes of uncovering the legendary French vessel. Ken Vrana, project manager for the Center of Maritime & Underwater Resource Management, joins Current State to talk about where the discovery will go from here.

And here’s an update on that timber they’re investigating. Looks like it is centuries old.

 

Current State logo Uncovering a shipwreck three centuries later byGreat Lakes Echo