Milwaukee Area Wrecks
by Capt. Darrick Lorenzen |
The season for Midwest scuba diving is fast approaching! Haigh Quarry will be open weekends in March. Mermet Springs is now open. I know there is four inches of new fallen snow in the Northern suburbs, but I assure everyone, in the next three weeks we will see a 70-degree day.
After more than a year of talking to divers in the Midwest region I have discovered that one of the least used and most spectacular resources that we have in the Midwest is the Great Lakes. The shipwreck diving sites in this very large and accessible geographical region are some of the best and most pristine on the planet. I have decided that as a follow up to my serialized blogs on the “History of Diving” I am going to publish a number of articles on the “Shipwrecks of South-West Lake Michigan.” I have consulted an expert, Captain Dale Bennett, who has been exploring these dive sites for over 30 years, is on our advisory committee and consults on technical training and education, and Midwest shipwrecks. In 2000 Captain Dale published “The Captain’s Shipwreck Book of South-West Lake Michigan” which features charts, descriptions, and GPS coordinates of the popular shipwrecks of Lake Michigan from Milwaukee to Chicago.
If after reading my blogs you have an interest in exploring these fabulous wrecks, please contact me if you are coming up on a weekday 773-732-8972. I would really enjoy diving with you! If you intend on diving Lake Michigan this summer make your reservations with Captain Dale now. The weekend dates fill fast. If you have flexibility you should try a weekday. My blogs will be excerpted from Captain Dale’s book. Although Captain Dale has done his best to pinpoint these wrecks, coordinates may not be 100% accurate. I can assure you we are trying to give Midwestern divers the best information possible about the location of these shipwrecks.
Milwaukee Area Wrecks
The S.S. Milwaukee was originally the Manistique, Marquette, and Northerner No. 1. The Milwaukee was built in Cleveland, Ohio. She was a steel steamer, railroad car ferry, 338-feet long, 56-foot beam, 19-foot draft. The Milwaukee sunk 3 ½ miles NE of North Point off Milwaukee Wisconsin. She sunk in 125-feet of water. October 22,1929 the Milwaukee foundered in a storm. It is believed that the railroad cars shifted and damaged the sea gates causing the ship to sink rapidly. All 52 men onboard lost their lives. The wreck is mostly intact and can be penetrated through cracks and openings. Hazards include deep silt and entanglement potential. A good light is essential, even for those not intending to penetrate this wreck. Railroad cars and cargo are on board. This shipwreck requires advanced wreck with penetration training and experience if entry into the wreck is contemplated. Coordinates 43 08.177’, 87 49.925’
S.S. Milwaukee websites:
http://www.ssmilwaukee.org - Site dedicated to the S.S. Milwaukee
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Milwaukee - Wikipedia on S.S. Milwaukee