A diver swims towards a large shipwreck resting on its side
A diver explores the massive remains of the shipwreck Norman

Ship Stats

Vessel Type: Motor: bulk freighter

GPS Location: N45°18.694' W83°16.737'

Depth: 200 feet

Wreck Length: 296 feet

Beam: 40 feet

Gross Tonnage: 2304

Cargo: Light

Launched: 1890 by Globe Iron Works at Cleveland, Ohio

Wrecked: May 30, 1895

Mooring Buoy Data

Description: At 1:30 PM we heard a tin pan rattling in the fog and we came...along side of the wreck which proved to be the Canadian steamer Jack of Kingston, loaded with square timber. She was waterlogged; the timber holding her above water, her stem and upper works forward is all smashed up also her rigging and topmast is carried away.” - Thunder Bay Island Life-Saving Station 1895

Fog was one of the greatest dangers facing Great Lakes sailors in the days before radar and GPS-aided navigation. Without visibility, the busy shipping lanes became danger zones as large ships passed each other, risking fatal collisions. On May 30, 1895, the bulk carrier Norman encountered just such a fog while steaming north with a load of coal. Disaster ensued when, passing Presque Isle, Norman collided with the freighter Jack. Jack's bow punched an immense hole into Norman's side while most of Norman's crew slept in their berths. A frenzy ensued as they struggled to abandon ship. Within three minutes, Norman and three of its crew disappeared below Lake Huron's waves.

Located 10.5 miles east-southeast of Presque Isle, Norman's nearly intact remains are spectacularly preserved by the cold water of Lake Huron. Unique characteristics of this Great Lakes ship design are its forward pilothouse, open deck with evenly spaced cargo holds, stern cabin, and engine room. At depths between 170 and 200 feet, the vessel is a popular site for technical divers.

Great Lakes Maritime Collection digital archive:

Watch this video of a fly-through animated video of the shipwreck Norman
A diver swims next to a shipwreck restoiing on its side
A diver explores the shipwreck Norman
A small row boat rests next to a much larger shipwreck
Norman’s yawl boat lies in the sand, a reminder of the lost crew members
A long shipwreck rests on its side
Photomosaic of the shipwreck Norman