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Two wrecks found in Ship Hunt project

On 13 July 2011, Tunder Bay National Marine Sancturay, announced that two wrecks had been found. The finds were made in the Great Lakes area of Michigan, USA. Five high school students from the nearby town of Saginaw share in the discovery. They are taking part in the Ship Hunt archaeological project, sponsored by Sony
Published: July 29, 2011 - 10:17
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 07:11
Two wrecks found in Ship Hunt project

merrick3d

On 13 July 2011, Tunder Bay National Marine Sancturay, announced that two wrecks had been found. The finds were made in the Great Lakes area of Michigan, USA. Five high school students from the nearby town of Saginaw share in the discovery. They are taking part in the Ship Hunt archaeological project, sponsored by Sony and Intel Corp.

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Students, using ROVs, search the depths, directing divers who then collect samples and materials for further study. Thanks to their joint efforts, accurate documentation is produced, which tells us a lot about the history and current state of the found wrecks.

The adventure of their lives began in May this year. That’s when they joined the Ship Hunt team to search for shipwrecks, gather information about them and compile full archaeological documentation, including 3D images, of the vessels resting on the bottom. The rest of the team, are scientists and historians from NOAA (National Oceanographic an Atmospheric Administration). The research focus of the project is Lake Huron.

The Ship Hunt mission recovered the wreck of the schooner M/f Merrick, which sank in 1889, following a collision with a steamer during very dense fog. The 42m long vessel sank almost immediately, taking with it, the lives of 5 crew members.

Another find turned out to be the freighter Etruria. Launched in 1902, in West Bay City, Michigan. The Etruria, like the Merrick, sank after colliding with a steamer in thick fog. The ship, over 125m long, foundered, landing upside down in deep water.

As part of the Ship Hunt Projeckt, all the finds and their documentation will form part of an emerging documentary film that will premiere on 30 August 2011. For the first time, the wrecks found in the Thunder Bay area have been filmed, and in 3D. The data acquired will become part of the exhibits at the Great Lakes National Heritage Centre.

The wrecks at this site are some of the best preserved in the world. The cold water of Lake Huron has helped preserve them in an almost unchanged state for 150 years. Through scientific research, proper education and human involvement, these remains can be preserved for future generations and made available to recreational divers.

Source: thunderbay.noaa.gov

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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