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Lake Champlain Shipwreck - Sarah Ellen

Found by:  Dan Scoville, Paul Garrison, Brian Lindner & Scott Van Lear  - July 2015

Location:  Off Burlington, VT

Previously Located By: Lake Champlain Maritime Museam in 1989

Burlington Free Press - Dec 21st 1860

Sad Disaster - Wreck of the Schooner Sarah Ellen, And Loss of Two Lives

A distressing calamity occurred on Lake Champlain Wednesday morning.  The schooner Sarah Ellen, Capt. Hayward, in the employ of S.W. Clark & Co. of Willsborough, on its way over from that place, with a load of stone, about 10 o'clock that morning, at a point a little south of the Four Brothers, either sprung a leak or shipped a heavy sea, and sank. 


The persons on board were Capt. Hayward and his wife and one hand, Joe Laplante.  The three succeeded on the sinking of the schooner, in saving themselves for the time being by the small boat. 

The disaster was seen by the schooner Daniel Webster, also in the employ of Messers Clark, which bore down at once to the rescue of the persons in peril.  They were seen as the Daniel Webster drew near to them, clinging to the outside of the boat, which had capsized and was covered with ice.  Unfortunatly the yawl of the Daniel Webster was also so filled and covered with ice that if could not be used, and the attempt was made to approach and save them with the schooner.  This was but partially successful.  The French-man was seized and drawnto the deck of the schooner, while the shock, as the larger vessel struck the small boat, shook Captain and Mrs. Hayward from their uncertain hold upon it, and they drowned before the Daniel Webster, which had swept past them, could be put about and again reach them.  They were seen floating on the water for nearly five minutes, Mr. Haward supporting his wife, when she sank and in about a minute after her husband followed her to a watery grave.  

Capt H. was a young man of about 21, brought up in the family of Mr. Clark of Willsborough, and much respected.  He was married last fall.  Mrs. Hayward's maiden name was Whitney, and she was brought up, as we understand in the family of Mr. S. M. Pope of this place.  

THe Sarah Ellen was owned by Messrs James Morse & Brothers, of Burlington.

Finding The Wreck

In the summer 2015 Dan Scoville, Paul Garrison and Brian Lindner were out 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 Sarah Ellen.
Sarah Ellen's final resting was previously located by LCMM in 1989.
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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