WASHINGTON, April 17 (UPI) -- Canada's first warship, which sank off the Florida Keys in 1926, is moving toward becoming a protected U.S. national historic site.
U.S. marine archaeologists are working toward getting the CGS Canada the historic designation because of its importance to the development of Canada's navy, now celebrating its centennial, Canwest News Service reports.
Canada's first naval recruits trained aboard the armed vessel before the navy's official creation in 1910.
Tane Casserley, national maritime heritage coordinator at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said he and colleagues are still writing the nomination for the ship, which was discovered by recreational divers in 2001.
The CGS Canada was commissioned to patrol Canadian Atlantic fishing waters but became a training ship for the future officers of what would become the Canadian navy. The ship served as a minesweeper and protector of troop convoys in World War I.
After its sale to a private company, it was renamed Queen of Nassau and used for luxury cruises between Florida and the Bahamas before sinking off the Keys under mysterious circumstances.
Casserley and other NOAA officials positively identified the ship in 2002 and said it was "remarkably intact."