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Join Save Ontario Shipwrecks to Help Protect these Great Lakes Dive Sites

By Robby Myers | Updated On January 31, 2024
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Join Save Ontario Shipwrecks to Help Protect these Great Lakes Dive Sites

Shipwreck in Great Lakes with American Flag

Founded in 1981, Save Ontario Shipwrecks (SOS) has been working to give the past a future by preserving and exploring shipwrecks in Ontario, Canada, and educating divers on best wreck-diving practices.

Jo-Ann Wilkins

MISSION: To further public knowledge and appreciation of Ontario’s marine heritage

HQ: Ontario, Canada



PROJECT: In order to give our past a future, SOS works to preserve shipwrecks through research, education and public outreach. “We want our history to have life,” says provincial president Bryan Thomas. “Everybody who does this, does it because they love the history, and they care about the environment and the wrecks.”

Oh Buoy! It’s common to drop anchor or tie off directly to a wreck, but that can be very damaging to a ship over time. “The strain and the chain and the rubbing all make a big difference,” Thomas says. You can protect wrecks by taking a class with SOS that will teach you how to lend a helping fin. “You do a buoy workshop so you understand what you need to do, and then we take you out with us and go do it.”

Dive To Preserve Adhere to SOS’s philosophy of low-impact diving. “Check out the wrecks, take lots of pictures, and bring home your memories and stories, but leave it for future generations to see it too,” Thomas says. Want to go a step further? Take a course with Nautical Archeological Society to learn how to conduct research, and take part in underwater field work. Contact training@saveontario

All Hands on Deck SOS has hands-on volunteer opportunities for divers, dive groups and even nondivers — from coordinating events and shooting underwater videos to sending newsletters. And you’re not just limited to rescuing Ontario wrecks. “We’ve helped set up organizations similar to ours,” Thomas says. “If anyone anywhere wants to start an organization like this, we’ll gladly help them, and give them the tools and resources.”