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Lake Michigan’s Shipwrecks: Underwater Time Capsules – The Sandusky

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Becky Kagan-Schott, an underwater videographer, explores the Sandusky shipwreck, one of thousands of perfectly preserved time capsules in the Great Lakes. “Some of these shipwrecks look like they sank yesterday,” Becky quoted. The Sandusky, built in 1848 in Sandusky, Ohio, is the oldest known shipwreck in the Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Preserve and is frequently visited by divers.

On September 20th, 1856, a violent gale erupted on Lake Michigan’s northern end, catching the two masked brig Sandusky in the Straits and sinking her in 84 feet of water. She was sailing east from Chicago to Buffalo, New York, loaded with grain. In total, nine crew members pershished. According to the story, three men clung to the mast that protruded from the water, but they died before they could be rescued by side-wheeler Queen City, along with the other six crew members.

The Sandusky is located five miles west of the Mackinac Bridge. The decks are crumbling in places, but there are some interesting artifacts on and around the wreck for underwater photographers, but divers are strongly advised to “observe not expropriate” anything off the sunken ship.

From May to September, a mooring line is in place to help divers with location and to prevent damage from anchors and hooks.

Intermediate to Advance dive skills are required and the location is:

Shipwreck: N45° 47.959′  W084° 50.249′
Mooring:    N45° 47.978′   W084° 50.248′

YouTube Video featuring Becky Kagan-Schott @ Liquid Productions


Blue Horizon

About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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