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Lake Champlain Shipwreck - William McAllister Tug

Found by:  Dan Scoville, Paul Garrison, Brian Lindner & Scott Van Lear  - July 2017

Location:  Off Burlington, VT

Previously Located By: LMCC

Burlington Free Press - Nov 20th 1963

Tugboat Sinks In Lake Near New York Shore

Port Kent, N.Y.  A crew of eight escaped from a tugboat that sank on the west side of Lake Champlain.  

New York state police said the tug, towing an emply gasoline barge, sank almost immediately in 125 feet of water after crashing into a reef on its port side


Police told newsmen the crew, headed by Captain Howard Mayotte, escaped to the barge they were towing.  The barge, with no power of its own, drifted a half mile down the lake before hitting shore.  

The crew returned to the William McAllister Tug Co. head quarters in New York City after the incident.  Police said the boat was valued at a quarter of a million dollars, and Coast Guard authoriites added the company planned to raise it before the ice set in.  

The reef is located south of Schuyler Island about five mile south of Port Kent.

Bennington Banner Nov 20th 1963

Salvage Attempt Will be Made for Tug

BURLINGTON (AP) - Coast Guard officials said Tuesday the McAllister Towing Co. of New York hopes to salvage tug which sand in Lake Champlain Sunday night.

The $250,000 tug, William McAllister out of New York, sank in 126ft of water almost immediately after hitting a reef five mile south of Port Kent, N.Y.


Capt. Howard Mayotte and his crew of seven escaped by leaping onto the empty gasoline barge they were towing.  The barge drifted a half mile down the lake before the men could anchor it and go ashore.


Officials said the tug was doing five knots in poor visibility when the accident occurred.


The salvage operation would have to be completed before Dec. 1 when the locks on the lakes are closed for the winter, officials said.  The canal links the lake with the Hudson River.

Finding The Wreck

In the summer 2016 Dan Scoville, Paul Garrison and Brian Lindner were scanning Lake Champlain looking for the N400CP, a corporate jet lost with all hands shortly after takeoff from the Burlington airport.  During the search for the lost aircraft we ran across the final resting place of the William McAllister tug.  
The William McAllister tug was previously located by LCMM during a comprehensive search of Lake Champlain.
The Discovery Team​

Dan Scoville is an experienced cave and technical diver. In 2005, Dan led the development of an underwater remote operated vehicle (ROV) with a team of college seniors from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is currently a Global new product development manager for Oceaneering International in Houston, TX


Brian Lindner is a native Vermonter and local historian.  Known as the unofficial plane crash historian for Vermont.  Author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles about Vermont history.  Twenty-six years in the Marine Division of the State Police.  Ski patroller at Stowe, EMT and leads a local Search & Rescue team.

Paul Garrison

Paul Garrison is owner of Crescent Images, LLC, a Houston based video production company that has provided video production for over 40 years of everything from special events, training videos, interviews and marketing content for corporations, small to mid-sized businesses. Special projects include video documentary coverage of ship wreck searches.


For over 26 years, Paul also is owner/founder of Crescent IT Systems, a Houston based managed IT support company that has provided its small to mid-sized clients with solutions involving data protection, systems monitoring, helpdesk, network services, cyber security services, disaster recovery/business continuity and more.  Paul holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at University of Houston.


Prior to these organizations, Paul has been employed in numerous functions in research and development organizations involved with the integration and programming of computer-based systems involved with real-time data for monitoring and control of critical events.  Other accomplishments include AI applications residing on edge technology for the purpose of visual recognition and event assessments.

Scott Van Lear

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