Many people are unaware of the boat stuck above Niagara Falls in the rocks. It has been there for over a century but now it is moving, thanks to heavy rains and high winds.
The Niagara Parks Commission reported that the harsh weather that recently passed through the area caused the vessel to dislodge from the rocks and move closer to the falls on the Canadian side.
CNN affiliate CBC reports that it’s the first time the vessel has moved any appreciable distance for over 100 years.
The Niagara Parks Commission released a video in which Jim Hill, an official said that the barge is not currently moving but it does appear to have “flipped on its side and spun around.”
Many locals are familiar with how the barge came to rest in the rocks above the falls. Two men from Buffalo, New York are involved in a rescue according to Hill, the senior manager of Heritage with the Parks Commission.
The Commission, an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport said that the vessel, which is known as a dumping scow, was being pulled by a tugboat in 1918 when it disconnected during a dredging operation. Those two men were on board the scow at the time. By the time the scow stopped in the Niagara River, it was only 650 yards from Horseshoe Falls, one of the three waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls.
Those two men, James Harris and Gustav Lofberg were stranded along with the scow, and local law-enforcement agencies were looking for a way to rescue them. It wasn’t considered safe or even possible to rescue them by boat. They decided to launch buoys but, according to a parks commission timeline published for the 100th anniversary, the lines became tangled.
That is when a World War I veteran William ‘Red’ Hill helped to sort out the lines and eventually, the men were rescued.
In the century that the iron boat has been in the water, it has deteriorated significantly. That being said, after being lodged in a rock outcropping in 1918, it basically stayed in the same position. The rain and high winds that came through the area on Thursday, however, caused the scow to move toward the falls again.
The activity of the scow is being monitored by the Niagara Parks staff, just in case it decides to move again. According to Hill, the remains may be stuck in that area “for days or for years. It’s anyone’s guess.”