NEWS

Centuries-old cannon found in Detroit River

09/08/2011 03:58 EDT | Updated 11/08/2011 05:12 EST

A 200-year-old cannon has been located at the bottom of the Detroit River.

Members of the Detroit Police diving team made the historic discovery Wednesday during a routine training session near Cobo Centre in Detroit.

"During the dive I looked over and seen a silhouette laying out in the sand and swam over to it. And I thought to myself: 'Ah! you gotta be kidding me. We just found the last missing cannon,'" said Detroit Police Sergeant Dean Rademaker, who was part of the dive team. "It was a pretty cool experience."

The cannon is nearly two metres long and likely weighs 540 kilograms.

Not first cannon found

It's the fifth cannon found in the area in three decades.

Three other cannons were recovered in the 1980s and a fourth was recovered by the department's dive team in 1994. Those are believed to be British and French.

Detroit Historical Society Curator Joel Stone said the latest find will be studied to try to determine its age and where it came from.

The cannon could be one of several believed to have fallen into the river in 1796 when they were being transported by the British, Detroit police said.

Cannons that have been found in the area, however, also may have gone down anytime up to the War of 1812, Stone said. The United States Coast Guard and Detroit Police intend to raise the cannon.

Cannon to be restored

The American Guard and Detroit Police intend to raise the cannon. It will be restored by the Detroit Historical Society.

Divers more typically find cars and guns.

In 2009 during a training session, they turned up a two-metre, 135-kilogram bronze statue that had been missing for more than eight years from the Grosse Pointe War Memorial. The statue was returned to its suburban Detroit home.

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