From wooden schooners to sidewheel steamers to modern freighters, the shipwrecks of Thunder Bay represent a cross-section of Great Lakes maritime history. In some cases, little remains except a few planks and ribs, while other vessels are completely intact, looking very much as they did the day they sank. The cold, fresh waters of Lake Huron have provided a favorable environment for shipwreck preservation, although waves and ice have damaged some shallow wrecks. Whatever their condition, the shipwrecks of Thunder Bay tell us a great deal about life on the Great Lakes over the past 200 years.
The remains of the vessels listed below have been located and identified through extensive archaeological and historical research by shipwreck enthusiasts, professional and avocational archaeologists, and recreational divers. Due to the challenges posed by conducting archaeology underwater, some uncertainties remain in the location or identification of specific wrecks. In addition, this list represents only a fraction of the vessels believed to have been lost in the vicinity of Thunder Bay over the years. While some have broken up and washed away, many others await discovery on the bottom of Lake Huron. The following data is therefore subject to change as new information is unearthed.
Where possible, latitude/longitude, GPS and/or Loran C coordinates are included. These coordinates should not be used for navigation purposes, as their reliability is not guaranteed. Always check with a local dive charter or other authority before searching for a wreck.
The vessels are listed alphabetically (by last name where applicable). Each entry contains the following information:
Name Official Number Date Built (with builder and location when available) Date Lost (if date is disputed, more than one may be listed) Type of Vessel (at time of loss) Dimensions (length x beam x depth, in feet) Gross Tonnage (in tons) Cargo Circumstances of Loss Depth (in feet, to lake bottom unless otherwise noted) Condition Location Sources