great lakes shipwrecks

Take a deep breath this Shipwreck Sunday and explore the wrecks of Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary! 

Thanks to the cold, fresh water of Lake Huron, the sanctuary protects one of our nation’s best-preserved collections of shipwrecks. American Union, pictured here, was a three-masted schooner that sank in 1894 after running up on the rocks at Thompson’s Harbor. This is one wreck you don’t have to be a diver to explore: resting only 10 feet beneath the surface, American Union’s remains are easily viewable by kayakers and snorkelers. 

(Photo: David J. Ruck/NOAA)

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The Edmund Fitzgerald Remembered

40 years ago, on November 10, 1975, the cargo ship Edmund Fitzgerald sank during a storm in Lake Superior near Whitefish Point off the coast of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. There are several theories as to what may have caused the ship to sink in a flash, but the actual reason will likely never be known. The remains of the 29 crew members were never recovered.

A map of shipwrecks in Lake Superior

Lake Superior in Michigan, USA has the most shipwrecks, comparative to its size. If you were to combine all of the shipwrecks of the Great Lakes, they would have more shipwrecks than all of the other bodies of water in the world combined. The Caribbean may have claimed many wrecks in the Golden Age of Piracy, but the Great Lakes have continued to increase their numbers well into the 20th century. The Edmund Fitzgerald, a wreck immortalized in a Gordon Lightfoot song, went down in Lake Superior in November 1975. The USS Mesquite, the most recent sinking, ran aground in December 1989. This wreck is still preserved and is available for divers to explore.

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Happy Friday, all! I’ve had these pics in my Drafts for awhile but kept forgetting to post them! They’re from my July trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Some of the places I visited: Fayette Historic Townsite, Mackinac Island & the Grand Hotel, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, and Tahquamenon Lower Falls.

Sorry for the lack of Simming pics lately - I’m hoping I get some time to boot up my game this weekend!

That sinking feeling: Fire, ice, collisions, and storms have claimed more than 200 vessels in and around what is now Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Located on Lake Huron, the sanctuary protects the rich maritime heritage of the Great Lakes. The steel bulk freighter Grecian is just one of the many wrecks protected in the sanctuary. Grecian sank not once, but twice, finally coming to rest in what are now sanctuary waters. In 1906, Grecian had its first sinking experience, taking on water after striking a rock in the St. Mary’s River, but the vessel was successfully refloated and began a trip to Detroit for repair. It seems Grecian was destined for the deep, however: the vessel unexpectedly took on water and sank in Thunder Bay just one week after its initial collision in the St. Mary’s. Today, Grecian can be seen preserved in the cold, clear waters of the sanctuary, with bow and stern completely intact. 

(Photo: NOAA)

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October 15, 1880: The S.S. Alpena disappeared in a storm on Lake Michigan now known as the Alpena Storm.

The lore surrounding life at sea and shipwrecks is fascinating. This map series, Graveyard of the Great Lakes: major wrecks since 1600 A.D., gives a visual representation of the numerous shipwrecks on the Great Lakes and insight into some of the more unique and infamous wrecks. The ship featured has a ghost story surrounding its disappearance.

Map: Cook, L.C. Lake Michigan, graveyard of the Great Lakes : major wrecks since 1600 A.D. 1998. Marie, Michigan: Cook & Cook Ltd., c1998.

Post by Kassie M.