Winter 2010

Photo: WHS/Tamara Thomsen
Wisconsin Shipwrecks Impress New Zealand Visitor

“Even from as far away as the other side of the world, the Great Lakes have a reputation for having some of the best-preserved wooden shipwrecks around,” said maritime archeology student Matt Carter from New Zealand. When Carter was awarded the Our World Underwater Australasian Rolex Scholarship for 2009, he travelled to Wisconsin in October 2009 as part of a worldwide tour of maritime archaeological projects. Working with Keith Meverden and Tamara Thomsen of the Wisconsin Historical Society, Carter was able to dive the Lake Michigan wrecks of the Daniel Lyons, Fleetwing, Frank O’Connor, Australasia, Rouse Simmons, Walter B. Allen and Ocean Wave.

Carter reported, “I had heard that the visibility of the lakes was amazing and this, combined with the fantastically preserved shipwrecks, meant that I was very keen to get out diving. Our first day of diving was to the wreck of the Ocean Wave, a wooden schooner that sank in 1869. As we entered the water and descended, I caught my breath as the wreck came into view. Although she had been sitting on the lake bed for 140 years, the Ocean Wave was amazingly intact with her bowsprit still standing and eagle figurehead still clearly evident. What made this dive even more incredible was the visibility, which was at least 130 feet. I had never experienced this before in any of my diving around the world.”

Explore Wisconsin’s shipwrecks by visiting our Web site:

The Aquatic Sciences Center is the administrative home of the
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute & University of Wisconsin Water Resources Institute.

©2011 University of Wisconsin Board of Regents