Anona

Anona

Anona

The steam yacht Anona. Historical Collections of the Great Lakes, Bowling Green State University

The steam yacht, Anona, was sold in 1904 to Theodore DeLong Buhl, the wealthy industrialist from Detroit. Buhl was the son-in-law of Hiram Walker, founder of the Canadian Club Whiskey Distillery. Anona, a 117-foot long, steel-hulled, propeller driven luxury craft, was owned by Buhl until his death in 1907. His wife, Elizabeth, owned the vessel until 1924 when she sold it. Anona changed hands several more times until she was acquired by the Pan-American Banana Producers Association of Montreal, Canada in 1943 for use as a freight carrier. She sank in 1944 while transporting a cargo of potatoes destined for the West Indies. None of the crew died during the sinking event and all nine men were rescued after floating adrift in the Gulf of Mexico for two days.

Anona’s remains were discovered in the Viosca Knoll leasing area during a deep-tow oil and gas survey in 1995 but the wreck was initially interpreted to be a sunken crew boat based on the side scan sonar imagery. In 2002, C&C Technologies was contracted to perform a site-specific archaeological survey of the wreck as part of a larger lease block survey for BP Exploration. C&C performed an AUV survey and acquired additional side scan sonar data as well as multibeam bathymetric data. A subsequent ROV investigation confirmed the identity of the mysterious shipwreck as Anona. Lying in over 4,000 feet of water, the hull sits upright and intact with a debris field around it.

The 2004 Deep Wrecks project planned to conduct an archaeological and biological investigation of Anona but did not visit the site due to Tropical Storm Bonnie’s projected path through the area. In the 2002 ROV video footage, Anona was covered by biological growth and sediments were observed to be accumulating across portions of the hull. A 2007 ROV investigation of Anona was performed but the wreck has not been visited since.