Like the Niagara River, the Welland River (which flows through the Village of Chippawa), has been visited and dove by literally thousands of divers over the years. Although in almost every case this can be a very enjoyable dive, there are several areas and conditions in the rivers that can make diving extremely dangerous.
On September 16, 2007 a group of five divers visited the area. Two ended their dives short of the planned exit, a third was rescued, and two lost their lives.
At the November 2007 monthly meeting, the Niagara Divers’ Association (NDA), in conjunction with the Ontario Underwater Council (OUC), presented information on the Chippawa area. Attendee interest exceeded the room and seating capacity, and for this reason we have added a similar but shorter presentation at Shipwrecks/2008.
The presentation will provide a brief history of the area and Ontario Power Generation (OPG). It will explain how OPG’s operations affect the waterways, resulting potential hazards, and other site hazards (both man-made and naturally occurring). We will provide a description of the accident based on the most current facts available and finish with a list of recommendations for diving the area.
Although this is not shipwreck related, we feel that we have an obligation to supply information on this dive site, located in the middle of our club’s base of operations.