By Andrea Romano
November 04, 2019

Sometimes, if you wait long enough, Mother Nature will step in to solve even the most difficult of problems.

According to NBC News, a gigantic ship known as the Iron Scow (or sometimes, the Niagara Scow) has been lodged on some rocks at Niagara Falls since a wreck in 1918. That is, it was stuck until wind and rain somehow broke the boat loose on Thursday, Oct. 31, ending its seemingly permanent, 101-year residence at the Falls.

The boat originally became stuck at Niagara Falls after a tether (which was attached from the ship to a tugboat) came loose during a dredging expedition near Canada’s Horseshoe Falls, the Washington Post reported.

As it drifted toward the edge of the falls, two men, Gustav Lofberg and James Harris, were on board the ship. They managed to slow down the boat by allowing water to flood the bottom, according to NBC News. By the next morning, the two men were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian authorities. Authorities decided that saving the boat itself was too risky, according to the Washington Post.

Steven Wilson/Getty Images

Since then, the boat has remained on the rocks between the borders of the Canadian province of Ontario and New York State, withstanding storms, blizzards, and, of course, thousands of tons of water rushing past it over the years. Perhaps it’s like loosening the lid of a pickle jar – after more than 100 years of winds, rain, and water twisting and trying, it finally broke free.

It’s become a bit of a tourist attraction for people coming to Niagara Falls. According to the Washington Post, the Niagara Parks Commission commemorated the wreck’s 100th anniversary with permanent panels in the area that tell the ship’s story.

But now that it is dislodged, it’s still drifting to different parts of the rapids, according to the Washington Post. The Niagara Parks Commission is currently monitoring the ship’s position, perhaps in the hope of finally recovering it.

“It could be stuck there for days, or it could be stuck there for years,” Jim Hill, senior manager of heritage for the Niagara Parks Commission, told the Washington Post. “It’s anyone’s guess.”

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