Divers take rare look inside Lake Michigan shipwreck

(Blueyes Below)
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 4:40 PM EDT
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MUSKEGON, Mich. (WILX) - There are more than 6,000 shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, some dating back hundreds of years.

The SS John V. Moran, a wooden steamship built in Bay City, sank Feb. 9, 1899 in Lake Michigan. She was traveling to Milwaukee from Muskegon when winter storms sealed her fate.

“The crew was bucking ice,” said Valerie van Heest. “The lake was starting to freeze over and they were pounding their way, trying to break their way through ice.”

The shipwreck was discovered in 2015 by the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association, a nonprofit that aims to preserve and understand Michigan’s submerged history. The organization said the wreck of the John V. Moran is one of the most intact steamships at the bottom of the Great Lakes.

The ship has sat roughly 400 feet underwater and 12 miles off the shore of Muskegon for 123 years.

Dusty Klifman, with the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association, spent three years training in order to see the wreck. Due to the depth, few divers have the capabilities to see the see the John V. Moran in person.

“I wanted to lay a hand on the railing and experience basically a sunken time capsule from 1899 in person,” Klifman said.

Klifman made dive in early July. More information on the John V. Moran wreck can be found on the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association’s official website here.

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