The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Boat mystery solved with harbor excavation


August 2, 2018

Submitted photo

THE TY Breaker was found not far from where it was buried in mud during the storm two years ago at Saxon Harbor. Dredging uncovered the lost boat. Donald Smith, of Hurley, supplied the photo.


SAXON, Wis. - As the massive rebuilding project continues at Saxon Harbor following the July 11 storm of 2016, some mysteries are being solved.

One of those mysteries for the past two years has been the disappearance of a boat owned by Neil Gilbertson, who lives at the harbor on Lake Superior with his family.

While the dozens of boats that blew out to sea in the storm or broke up in the harbor had been located, there wasn't a trace of the Ty Breaker.

The harbor basins filled with mud and debris in the past two years, requiring the daily dredging efforts.

As dredging continues in the harbor berths, the mystery was solved when the boat was found stuck in the mud last week not far from where it had been docked.

Boat owners at the harbor had speculated that's where the boat probably ended up, but it wasn't proven until it was dredged up.

Previously, dredging of the harbor basins had turned up a bicycle, silver platter and down-riggers, among other items. There's still a boat, camper and vehicle missing.

John Wyssling, of Ironwood, noted Tuesday his boat and many others ended up scattered along the Lake Superior shoreline after the storm, with three vessels that were docked in the harbor two years ago somehow receiving only minor damage.

One boat ended up near Ontonagon.

Wyssling's boat, Bear Necessities, had been docked near the Ty Breaker. Bear Necessities was found demolished about three-quarters of a mile out into the lake five and a half days after the storm. The dock the boat was moored to ended up attached to the Wild Rose boat along the shoreline to the Ashland side, along with several other boats.

Wyssling describes that day as "when all Hell broke loose."

The recent dredging brought up timbers with the 63 dock slip number designated for Wyssling's boat.

The entire harbor area is closed for construction but there is access to the beach along Harbor Drive.


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