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Old 08-14-2011, 09:15 AM   #1
Diver1111
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Exeter NH
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Default Alton Barge

I've been looking for this barge for about 2 years. Found it recently. My search was based on information relayed to me by a man who dove in the 1960's and was looking for it as well, never found it. He wasn't sure if it existed either but now we know it does-thank you-you know who you are. I will not release its location as it's delicate and the most intact (old) wreck I have found yet in Winni, nearly 100%. I am afraid it will get trashed if it's dived by the wrong people. I've seen what happens and it's bad. Besides there is nothing to take home that won't be a fragment-and once out of water it will disintegrate unless steps are taken to prevent this natural process. There is nothing of monetary value to take but that won't stop some.

Barge is about 65 feet long, 25 feet wide, and the sides stand about 5 feet off the bottom. Classic flat-faced sloping bow and stern for a barge. Tools, a cement mixer on a trailer set-up, a "one-lunger" engine complete with flywheels, bags of concrete still stacked 7 high, piles of stone on deck next to a pile on sand-clearly they were going to build something. This is not ballast stone such as what can be found in the hold of the Lady of the Lake. These vessels don’t really have “holds”, more like crawl spaces. Nifty wooden deck cleats 2 feet wide. Weight of sand and stone piles is bending the deck down a bit.

What I don’t understand is why it is complete with machinery, tools, and material and how bags of concrete stacked 7 high never toppled over. No salvage effort that I can see, as the cement mixer engine is still there among other components; Perhaps it wasn’t worth it, perhaps it broke anchor and sank by itself; It was suggested I look for towing cable or chain (none), spuds to secure it in position at a site (none).

Dive was dark hence the dark video, certainly not unusual but I wish it was clearer-that's what we typically have to work with. My thanks to camerman Lea Nichols, again. Lea has shot all of the videos I've posted.

If anyone has background information on such a barge in Alton please contact me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-xarqwG3q0
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