Notwithstanding that many vessels drawing approximately 18 feet have passed down the Detroit river this season without accident, the fact remains the trip, except under the most favorable conditions of wind, etc., is fraught with danger for vessels of that draught. Many masters have, either on their own account or in compliance with orders from their owners, adopted the plan of ascertaining from Duff & Gatfield the stage of water before undertaking the passage. With reference to the recent striking of the steamer MARITANA, abreast Amherstburg, it has been learned from the latter place that there is at the ordinary stage of water a clear depth of 18 feet along the new ranges and for 100 feet on either side of them, but on the evening on which this accident occurred (June 28), the water was unusually low for this time of year, being .40 below zero, with the wind northwest, fresh. This would leave a clear depth at the time of 17.6 feet. The entire stretch along this range has been swept this spring and many boulders removed, but the least depth is still 18 feet and this cannot be improved until dredging is done. The dredging abreast Amherstburg is progressing slowly inasmuch as much hard digging has been found. So far as can be learned, however, vessels have sustained no damage by reason of the obstructions thrown up in dredging.
The Marine Review
July 14, 1898
Steam Screw MARITANA. U. S. No. 92459. Of 2,957 tons gross; 2,429 tons net. Built Chicago, Ill., 1892. Home port, Duluth, Minn. 330.0 x 45.2 x 20.3 Passenger service. Crew of 21. Of 1,400 indicated horsepower.
Merchant Vessel List, U. S., 1906