The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Gunilda (yacht), sunk, 29 Aug 1911


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Posted by Maria Phipps, 31 January 2011 at 14:57

The Gunilda struck McGarvey Shoal which is about 8 - 9 km to the east of the village of Rossport. The tale of her sinking is fairly well documented in many places but probably best represented, in the the NFB Film, "Drowning in Dreams" by Tim Southam. The story, recounted by two divers, one being Fred Broennle who has the insurers' rights to Gunilda as confirmed in correspondence in 1977 and 1993 by The Salvage Association,London, UK.

The precise site of the wreck was confirmed August 8,1970 when Charles King Hague went missing whilst looking for the wreck. Fred Broennle in attempting to find King, fell off an underwater cliff and found himself beside the Gunilda in over 200 ft of water. He surfaced too quickly and was rescued by Maria Hague (Phipps) in heavy seas about .5 km away from the channel marker toward Copper Island.

King Hague's body was found by Broennle's video camera July 19, 1976. He lay peacefully on the lake floor on his back at the stern of the ship holding a flagstaff in his hand. Evidence he had hoped to bring back to the expedition members on the surface. Through permission from the widow his mother and the Canadian Coast Guelph, Broennle raised him. King was cremated and buried in Thunder Bay.

We would be pleased to provide you with co-ordinates of where the wreck sits.

Maria Phipps

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Gunilda (yacht), sunk, 29 Aug 1911