Sonar image of the schooner Corsair
Sonar image of the schooner Corsair

Vessel Type: Sail: Two-masted schooner

GPS Location: N44° 46.922’ W83° 07.426’

Depth: 182 Feet

Wreck Length: 134 Feet

Beam: 24 Feet

Gross Tonnage: 315

Cargo: Iron ore

Launched: 1866 by Lee and Navagh in Oswego, New York

Wrecked: September 29, 1872

Mooring buoy: No


The two-masted schooner Corsair sank in a storm off Harrisville, Michigan in 1872. Five of the seven crewmen on board perished when the iron ore-laden schooner sank. One of the survivors, Second Mate Grady, delivered a harrowing account to the Oswego Daily Palladium on October 3, 1872, “The sea increased until it ran mountains high, and at every wave boarded the vessel, the captain concluded to run for shelter in Tawas Bay, and had got within about ten miles of Sturgeon Point, when it was found necessary to heave to as the schooner could not live running before it…and at 4:15 Sunday morning, the vessel lurches two or three times and dove head first, disappearing entirely, and carrying all of us with her. I noticed when she was going down that her decks raised and parted in pieces from her, and I was raised on a portion of the quarter deck and then plunged into the water…We lashed ourselves to the deck by our scarfs. In this matter we floated for thirty six hours…About 4 o’clock Monday afternoon we sighted a propeller coming down the lake, and we took our scarfs and tied them to the paddles and signaled her. God favored us, for the propeller saw our signals and came to our rescue” (Oswego Daily Palladium, 3 October 1872). The schooner Corsair rests in 182 feet of water.

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