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AJ Goddard Expedition

0
June 2010
Lake Laberge, Yukon Territory, Canada
Expedition Reveals Stunning New Details of Famous Gold Rush Shipwreck

OceanGate and BlueView Technologies helped to produce the first high-resolution, 3D digital model of a perfectly preserved, 100-year-old steamboat. In June 2010, using a new sonar scanning system provided by BlueView Technologies and OceanGate, the survey, which would have taken years to complete using traditional underwater archaeology techniques, took only days.

The expedition team completed 130 dives over eight days and identified and tagged approximately 100 artifacts. Divers removed 28 of the most significant artifacts for future display in an AJ Goddard exhibit at the Yukon Transportation Museum.

Team Creates 3D Sonar Map of Historic Shipwreck

Beneath the frigid waters of Canada’s Lake Laberge lies shipwrecked treasure from the Klondike Gold Rush. But this is not about sacks of glittering gold. This “treasure” is the ship itself, the AJ Goddard – a perfectly preserved steamboat that appears to have been frozen in time for more than a century.

The AJ Goddard was just one of more than 200 steamships that transported prospectors and freight during the Klondike Gold Rush. The ship sank in 1901 and remained hidden for more than a century. In 2008, archaeologists searching for Gold Rush shipwrecks rediscovered the Goddard in about 30 feet of water at the edge of Lake Laberge.

Although there are several shipwrecks from the Gold Rush era, the AJ Goddard is the most significant because it is so well preserved and has numerous artifacts associated with the day-to-day operation of these small, self-sufficient vessels. The Yukon government recently recognized the importance of this wreck, declaring it as a Yukon Historic Site that symbolized the “sense of adventure” that gripped North America at the height of the Gold Rush.

In June 2010, OceanGate joined an expedition organized by the Institute of Nautical Archaeology to further investigate this important wreck. Over the course of eight days and approximately 130 dives, the expedition team recorded more than 100 artifacts on the wreck and recovered 28 items for display at the Yukon Transportation Museum.

OceanGate and BlueView Technology played a significant role on this expedition, deploying a new 3D sonar scanning system to document the wreck. This effort produced the first high-resolution, 3D digital model of the famous shipwreck, providing researchers with exciting new details about frontier life during the adventuresome Gold Rush era.

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