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Wreck of schooner Atlanta found in Lake Superior 130 years after sinking

Members of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (GLSHS) have found the wreck of the schooner Atlanta, which sank in 1891 in Lake Superior. In an official release GLSHS announced that the wreck of the schooner Atlanta, which sank nearly 130 years ago, has been found and identified. In the late 19th century, the vessel
Published: March 4, 2022 - 09:00
Updated: July 23, 2023 - 00:11
Wreck of schooner Atlanta found in Lake Superior 130 years after sinking

Members of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (GLSHS) have found the wreck of the schooner Atlanta, which sank in 1891 in Lake Superior.

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In an official release GLSHS announced that the wreck of the schooner Atlanta, which sank nearly 130 years ago, has been found and identified. In the late 19th century, the vessel disappeared in the waters of Lake Superior, the largest of Great Lakes.

Wreck of a schooner at the bottom of the Upper Lake
The bow of a schooner through the lens of an ROV camera Photo: GLSHS

Wreck searchers from GLSHS have released photos and video taken with an underwater ROV along with the news that the vessel has been found. The wreck of the schooner Atlanta came to rest at a depth of 183 metres, 56km off Deer Park, Michigan. The group also said that precision sonar technology played a key role in locating the wreck.

Sinking of the schooner Atlanta

The ship sank on exactly 4 May 1891. According to GLSHS, the schooner-barge was then sailing with a cargo of coal, towed by the steamer Wilhelm. At some point both ships ran into a powerful gale. Due to the strong storm the tow rope could not hold and broke. Without sails Atlanta found herself at the mercy of the lake and the stormy weather.

Archival photograph of the ship from the 19th century
Archival photograph of schooner Atlanta

The entire crew therefore evacuated from the schooner Atlanta into a lifeboat. They rowed for the next few hours, fighting for their lives, until they finally reached the vicinity of the Crisp Point lifeboat station. While trying to reach shore near the station, the boat capsized and only two crew members made it safely to the beach.

It is undoubtedly rare to find a shipwreck that so clearly tells you what it is, and the nameplate of the schooner Atlanta really stands out. It is truly ornate and still beautiful, despite 130 years at the bottom of the lake said Bruce Lynn, GLSHS executive director.

you have a broken schooner
One of Atlanta’s three broken masts Photo GLSHS

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the discovery of the wreck of the schooner Atlanta, measuring 52 metres in length, is the latest discovery by the GLSHS searchers. Previously Among other things, we reported on three wrecks from the 19th century, which they located in 2021.

Photo: Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society


Without doubt, for technical divers from around the world, the Donegal coast has become synonymous with wreck diving. Among others due to the wreck of the SS Empire Heritage, about which we wrote in the 17th issue. the DIVERS24 quarterly magazine! The digital version of the magazine is available free of charge, while the printed version can be purchased from our online shop.

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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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