Mixed feelings about masts being yanked off Lincoln ‘ghost ship’

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Published December 17, 2021 at 4:19 pm

La Grand Hermine in Jordan Harbour at sunrise. Photo: Niagara Region archives, taken by Paul Cheese of St. Catharines.

While Lincoln tried to talk Fisheries and Oceans Canada into either leaving the famous Jordan Harbour “ghost ship” as is or transporting its pieces onshore where the town could set it up as a continued tourist attraction, the answer was a resounding no.

In fact, within a couple of weeks, the masts will be yanked off the ship, named La Grande Hermine (The Big Weasel), by the Coast Guard.

Posted Lincoln in a short statement, “We are sorry to learn that the masts of La Grande Hermine in Jordan Harbour will be removed by the Coast Guard, who has authority over the future of the ship as it pertains to the Vessels of Concern Program.”

Then they added, “While we recognize that public safety is paramount, it is unfortunate that further investigations did not take place to map out how the masts and ship could continue to be a local, safe tourist attraction in Lincoln and Niagara.”

Indeed the ship is an eye-catcher. But when it landed on the Ministry’s unsafe list, its days at sea… well, Lake Ontario were numbered.

And some people are just fine with that, considering it little more than a view-blocking piece of trash.

“This thing is an eyesore. Someone is going to get killed or seriously injured climbing around this rotting hull. Who will be liable when this happens?” said one reader.

“That thing has been an eyesore since it was torched and nobody could be bothered to repair it'” said another.

Ah yes, the mysterious Fire of 2003. The cause of the fire that totally gutted the ship has two schools of thoughts. Some believe that teenagers having a party onboard lit a small fire for warmth and before long it became a large fire. Others believe it was flat-out arson. The actual cause was never determined.

But the boat also had its admirers. “That is disappointing,” said one. “It is a landmark engraved in history (and) should be protracted, not removed. Our local politicians should involve to save it as such.”

“No! Ship will gone (leaving) us with boring viewing in lake without ghost ship,” said another.

The response to Lincoln’s post were literally split 50/50.

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