The Wreck of the

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Islander -- Diver's Guide (.pdf)

Islander -- Seaway Trail Interpretive Panel (.jpg)



This sidewheel steamer, originally named the JAMES H. KELLEY, was built in Rochester, NY in 1871 by D. W. Springstead. She was renamed the JOHN THORN in 1879, and renamed again to ISLANDER in 1887 when she became the property of the Thousand Islands Steamboat Company. The vessel measured 125 ft. x 20 ft. x 7 ft. and weighed 118 gross tons. The ISLANDER served as a mail carrier and gave river tours. The ship burned on Sept. 16, 1909 at her dock at Alexandria Bay. The wreck of the ISLANDER is located just offshore, east of the hospital, at the foot Market Street in downtown Alexandria Bay.

The wreck of the ISLANDER is located at the foot of Market Street in Alexandria Bay. The Village has provided a parking area, gazebo, and ramp to the water to provide a comfortable diving experience. A local dive shop has a satellite shop across the street complete with a air compressor.

Dive Site Information

Location: Downtown Alexandria Bay, NY, at the foot of Market Street.
GPS: N43.26.555 W076.35.094
Access: Shore and Boat.
Depth: 30 to 60 feet.
Visibility: 20 to 100 feet. Average 45 feet.
Temperature: 40 to 73 degrees F.
Skill Level: Basic open water diver.
Bottom: Sloped rock and silt.
Hazards: Weather conditions and unexpected weather changes should be a constant consideration. Mild currents may be present. Recreational and commercial boat traffic.
Description: The wooden wreck is partially broken, resting upright parallel to the shore's slope. The bow faces upriver. The port rail is reached at 30 feet, and the starboard rail is resting at 45 feet. There is a debris field surrounding the wreck down to 60 feet. There are no penetration opportunities. The diving season is typically May through mid-October. May to early June and late summer are the best times to dive.


Emergency Information

US Coast Guard Station Alexandria Bay:
Marine Band Radio: Channel 16
Phone: 315.482.2574

St. Lawrence County Emergency: 911
E.J. Noble Hospital: 315.482.2511
Divers Alert Network: 919.684.8111
The nearest recompression chamber is in Kingston, Ontario.

Dive Site Steward

Stewards are organizations that volunteer to be the local representative for the dive site. They publicize, monitor, and buoy it; advocate for its responsible use, and interpret it for non-divers to promote public awareness of our Great Lakes underwater maritime heritage and cultural resources. The Islander currently does not have a steward. If you are interested, contact New York Sea Grant at the number below.

Sea Grant's Underwater Cultural Resources Contact Information:

David White
Recreation/Tourism Specialist
Email: dgw9@cornell.edu
Phone: 315.312.3042