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Diving in Ontario - A. E. Vickery
Dive site characteristics
Types Shipwreck dive Drift dive Deep dive
Conditions Visibility very restricted or null
Services Parking Boat ramp Swimming Picnic tables
Planification Rescue in case of emergency Weather conditionsRoad conditionsRoad map
Diving notes

The Vickery is a three masts schooner. Built in 1861, it was launched under the name J.B. Penfield in New York State. On February 1884, it was renamed A.E. Vickery.

The boat, on its way for the town of Prescott, was carrying 21,000 bushels of corn when it hit a rock. It took approximately 4 hours before it sank. The captain, furious against the pilot following the accident, using his gun tried to kill him. Fortunately for the pilot, the captain’s brother interposed and put an end to the anger of the captain. The crew had time to find refuge with the lighthouse of Rock Island.

The size of the shipwreck is impressive for a boat of this time. It is possible to see some interesting pieces such as the stove on the stern and the rudder. The main mast can be seen on the starboard side. The wreck is largely covered with zebra mussel.

Due to the depth, it is recommended to plan ahead the bottom dive time before diving. The Vickery is near the seaway where boat navigation is quite active. Current is quite strong during the descent but disappears once on the shipwreck. The line is quite long. Marine life is abundant.

Entry points

Note: directions are accurate as possible, it is recommended to dive with someone you knows the site.

 Site  Depth   Characteristics 

Weather To display on Google map, click on .

 1-Sir Robert Peel
80-135′    N44 18.040 W75 59.175
Just upstream from the 1000 Islands Bridge.
 2-Iroquois
65-80′    N44 17.238 W76 00.324
Near the foot of the Niagara Shoal, 150′ South of the green buoy.
 3-Oconto
175-200′    N44 17.005 W76 00.972
Across the channel from the A.E. Vickery at light #214 South of Thousand Island Park on Wellesley Island and West of 1000 Island Bridge.
 4-A.E. Vickery
65-118′    N44 16.820 W76 01.183
Off Rock Island Shoal (about 4 miles Southwest Alexandria Bay), West-Southwest of Ivy Lea Bridge.
 5-Raymond
25′  Located midway between the East end of Round Island and Irwin Point of the South shore of the St. Lawrence.
Road directions
Approximative travel time : 3:30 hrs

From highway 401, watch and take exit 675 leading to Thousand Islands Parkway - Promenade des Milles Îles. Follow the road for about 2 km. Follow the directions for Mallorytown Landing and then turn on your left when arrived. Park your vehicule in the parking of Park Canada (there is a fee). If there is not more place to launch your boat or if you took arrangements with a dive operator located at Rockport, continue the road until there.

Alternative road. Follow highway 401, watch and take exit 661 leading to the State of New-York, USA, heading South on the 137. After few kilometers, you will have to cross the Canadian - US borders. It is recommended but not mandatory to registrer your equipment with the Canadian custom officier before crossing the border. This way while coming back you may have less trouble since your equipment will appear on the registration slip you will have. To the American border officer you will have to answer any question he might ask about journey. Once you’re done, follow the road now 81 toward Collins Landing. Then turn right on road 12 heading West. More informations are to come...

Do you know...

If you dive on an american wreck located on US territory coming from Canada by boat, you must first pass by the US customs located on Heart Island. Also, if you dive on wrecks located on Canadian territory coming from USA, you must pass by the Canadian Customs located at Rockport. On your return way, you must pass by the customs of the departure country. For more details consult the rules.

Copyright 2009, Michel Robitaille. All rights reserved.