A group of retirees turned shipwreck hunters have discovered a 16-metre-long 18th century trading vessel at the bottom of Lake Ontario.

The Washington, a commercial trading vessel, sank to the bottom of Lake Ontario in 1803, while transporting furs and household goods from Kingston to Nigeria. Two crew and several merchants were on board when a severe storm sank the vessel, and none of them survived.

It’s the oldest intact commercial sailing vessel to be lost and found on the Great Lakes, and will give archaeologists a better understanding of what life was like at the time.

The team that discovered the vessel is made up of three retirees from New York; they go out shipwreck hunting 15 to 20 times a year.

While this is their biggest find, they have no plans to salvage the ship, or even to reveal its location to the public. The wreckage will be left in the hands of archaelogists while the discovery team goes looking for more of the thousands of ships that are believed to have crashed across the Great Lakes.

[Shipwreck World via Gizmodo]