Researchers have Discovered Mostly Intact Steamship Wreck on the Great Lakes

The John V. Moran

Researchers have found a century-old, nearly perfectly preserved shipwreck in Lake Michigan. Divers recently descended to about 400 feet under the lake’s surface to confirm the steamer was the sunken John V. Moran ship. A sonar device detected it earlier this year.

Michigan Shipwreck Research Association Director Valerie van Heest says, despite sinking in the middle of winter, all 25 people on board the vessel survived.

Imagine your ship is trapped in the ice, it’s after midnight, all you can see is the light from another ship several miles distant, and the crew had to climb down the side of their ship, walk across the frozen lake, get the attention of the other ship, and then they were taken aboard.”

-Valerie van Heest, Michigan Shipwreck Research Association

Van Heest says it’s the most intact steamship wreck discovered so far in the Great Lakes. She says her team has plans to further explore the interior of the ship.

Photo captured by divers of the John V. Moran


Image credit: Courtesy of Michigan State Police

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About the Author

Marissa Gawel

Associate News Producer

Fan of road trips and roasted vegetables. Currently reports from WDET’s newsroom.   Follow @marissagawel

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