Gone: The Greatest Shipwreck Mystery on the Great Lakes


A number of ships have gone missing on the Great Lakes.  Bannockburn, Lambton, Sunbeam and Griffon are only some of the lost fleet lurking deep in the dark and icy depths of the Inland Seas.

In the author's opinion the most inexplicable losses are the French Navy minesweepers Inkermann and Cerisoles.  A total of 78 French sailors and two Great Lakes pilots met their end when the vessels went down.

During World War I a dozen of the tough little vessels were built by Canadian Car and Foundry in Port Arthur, Ontario for the French Navy.  The pair, plus the minesweeper Sebastopol, left Port Arthur, Ontario on November 23, 1918 bound for Montreal, before final delivery to France.  Somewhere in Lake Superior Inkermann and Cerisoles disappeared during a southerly gale.  Desperate searches failed to find the missing warships.  No confirmed human remains were ever recovered and what little flotsam was found provided no clues.  Accusations of poor construction, shoddy seamanship and collision followed but real evidence was illusionary.  French Navy investigations were equally befit of solutions.  This most baffling mystery remains unsolved.