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The legal battle for a Lake Erie sunken ship

Treasure hunters who want to raise an old schooner from the bottom of Lake Erie and display it have been entangled in a five-year federal court battle with the state of New York over ownership rights to the vessel.

State historic preservation and museum officials believe federal law gives the state control of the ship, and they feel it is best preserved where it is, off the Dunkirk shoreline. They also allege the company behind the schooner-raising plan has damaged the ship and accuses its divers of improperly handling human remains found onboard.

Northeast Research LLC denies the accusations and says it has followed all the rules to obtain the legal rights to the sunken ship.

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