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Divers Suspend Historic Cannon Recovery Effort

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(WWJ Photo/Pat Sweeting)

(WWJ Photo/Pat Sweeting)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – A cannon from Fort Detroit that has been on the bottom of the Detroit River for more than 200 years will stay there a little while longer.

The artifact, discovered during a training session by Detroit Police divers in July, has been submerged in the river behind Cobo Center since 1776.

U.S. Coast Guard joined an attmpt to recover the cannon on Wednesday, but poor weather conditions, including swift wind and steady rain, forced them to temporarily suspend the effort.

WWJ Newsradio 950’s Pat Sweeting spoke with Detroit Police inspector Don Johnson who said rescuers have to be very careful in the way the cannon is handled.

“It’s different, too, what they’ll utilize to make sure that we can actually hook it up and secure it … because it’s still fragile, and we won’t want to do anything to damage it,” Johnson said.

Officials said the cannon is 6 feet long and likely weighs about 1,200 pounds.  It was one of at least five that were being carried from the fort by a British ship when it capsized in the river. Three of the cannons were recovered in the 1980’s and the fourth was brought up in 1994.

Detroit Historical Society curator Joel Stone talked about what will happen once the cannon is out of the water.

“I will try to find any identifying marks. Cannons of this age usually had some kind of a crest or identifying marks scraped into it,” said Stone.

After that, Stone said the cannon will be re-sunk in a secure location until a conservation plan is in place.

There was no immediate word as to when the recovery effort will resume.

 – More on this story, here –

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