Museum to Raise Revolutionary War Gunboat From Lake Champlain Bottom | NECN
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Museum to Raise Revolutionary War Gunboat From Lake Champlain Bottom

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    Museum to Raise Revolutionary War Gunboat From Lake Champlain Bottom
    Left, a painting by Ernie Haas provided by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum shows an artist's rendition of divers hovering over the Revolutionary War gunboat "Spitfire" on the bottom of Vermont's Lake Champlain. Right, a remote camera shows a cannon, believed to be from the Revolutionary War gunboat "Spitfire."

    A Vermont museum wants to raise a Revolutionary War gunboat from the bottom of Lake Champlain, preserve it and then display it in a yet-to-be built museum in New York.

    The 54-foot Spitfire sank a day after the 1776 Battle of Valcour Island, which helped lead to the 1777 American victory at the Battle of Saratoga.

    The gunboat was found during a 1997 sonar survey of the lake. Its mast is still erect and the bow cannon still in firing position.

    The five-phase plan for raising and preserving the Spitfire calls for the construction of a facility where the Spitfire would be preserved before it is brought to the surface between 2024 and 2026.

    The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum estimates the 22-year process will cost about $44 million.

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