Plan your Michigan shipwreck tours with new website and mobile app

A diver explores the wreck of the Cedarville. (Credit: Jitka Hanakova)
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LANSING (WJRT) (1/13/2020) - Scuba divers and shipwreck aficionados have a new resource with information to help see their underwater resting places.

A new Michigan Shipwrecks app offers users the locations of shipwrecks, lighthouses and boating access sites. The app map offers information about each ship, including:

-- The difficulty level of diving to the wreck.
-- Whether the wreck is accessible by kayak or canoe.
-- The circumstances of the sinking.
-- A description of the ship, with photos and drawings (if available).

“This new tool gives divers, kayakers, snorkelers and armchair explorers a chance to learn more about these underwater archaeological sites and the circumstances that led to the shipwrecks,” said Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan History Center. “It’s a wonderfully interactive way to help people connect with this part of Michigan’s maritime history.”

Some shipwrecks lie in only 10 feet of water, which makes them accessible to novice scuba divers. Others listed lie in more than 100 feet of water, which requires advanced scuba diving skills to reach.

Some of Michigan's most notable shipwrecks, including the Carl D. Bradley, are not listed because they are considered underwater burial sites.

Clark pointed out scuba divers are invited to look, but Michigan laws forbid removing any artifacts from shipwreck sites.

“The wrecks on the Great Lakes bottomlands belong to the people of Michigan,” she said. “If everyone follows the rule of ’take only pictures and leave only bubbles,' we can ensure that these underwater time capsules will be available for future generations to explore, research and enjoy.”

The shipwreck storymap is available at michigan.gov/exploreshipwrecks. The mobile device app is available for download on that page.