Shipwrecks: Past & Present

Michigan Governor Dives Thunder Bay Shipwreck

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Michigan Governor Dives Thunder Bay Shipwreck


Thunder Bay

Michigan shipwrecks were in the news as Governor Rick Snyder donned scuba gear August 20, 2013, to explore the wreck of the steam barge Monohansett in Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve.

The governor made his dive as part of the State’s “Pure Michigan” tourism campaign. The campaign was originally launched in 2006 by the state of Michigan featuring the voice of actor and comedian Tim Allen.

Be sure to watch this great video of the wreck. It was produced by the Coastal Studies Institute, University of North Carolina in partnership with NOAA and the National Marine Sanctuaries.

Read this Detroit News article about the Governor’s dive.

Wreck of the Monohansett

GPS Location: N45° 01.996’ W83° 11.988’
Depth: 18 Feet
Cargo: Coal
Wrecked: November 23, 1907
Description: Built as the double-decked bulk freighter Ira H. Owen (or Ira H. Owens) in 1872 by  Linn and Craig at Gibraltar, Michigan, the ship was rechristened Monohansett in 1882.  The ship burned to the water’s edge at Thunder Bay Island on November 23, 1907.  Some of the crew suffered minor burns, but there was no loss of life because the ship was near the Thunder Bay Island Life Saving Station. Most of the crew lost their private belongings. Today, the wreck is broken into three major sections.  The stern portion has recognizable hull features, propeller, and shaft all in place, and her boiler is nearby.


Official Number: 100156
Gross Tons: 572 
Net Tons: 450
Length: 164.8 feet
Breadth: 31.9 feet
Depth of Hold: 9.4 feet
Crew: 11
Horsepower: 275
Home Port: Cleveland, Ohio

Watch this excellent video: Shipwreck of the Monohansett


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