Lake Superior is the largest body of fresh water in the world, comprising 31,200 square miles of water surface. Thedeepest part of Lake Superior is approximately 1,300 feet.Darkness begins to set in at the 200-foot level, and below 350 feet the water becomes ink black.
Many vessels and human beings have met their fates on these icy waters. Seamen describe the gales on this lake as being as abad as any they’ve seen in the world. Eyewitness accounts tell of the killing waves, blinding snowstorms and the bone-chilling coldness of the water. Many people survived these shipwrecks only to die of exposure on some bleak and barren Superior shore. For all Superior’s beauty, it takes a special breed of man to make his living on this unpredictable lake.
On the following pages you will learn of the acts of heroism by captains and seamen alike, who were responsible for saving many lives, by risking their own.
I have written this book to fill what is an obvious gap in the history of shipwrecks in Lake Superior. Many books have described in great detail the wrecks that have occurred in other parts of the lake, but none have written of the sorrow, hardships, and heroism of those in northern Lake Superior.
In researching this book, I have referred to many sources, from old newspaper reports to official government inquiries to find out the circumstances of each wreck. From these sources
I have put together what I believe is the most probable account of the doom of each vessel. Each piece of source material that I have used plus others that I found very interesting have been included in my bibliography for those who wish to research further the wrecks of northern Lake Superior.
This book has been written for both the historian and the scuba diver, for only those wrecks that remain beneath the surface of Lake Superior have been included.
I have tried to include every known wreck in northern Lake Superior, but I have excluded a few where little or no information was available or where there was some doubt as to whether or not the wreck had been salvaged.
I hope everyone who reads this book will enjoy it as much as I did in researching and writing it. Shipwrecked
Two hundred and sixty five feet below the surface of Lake Superior in the great lakes, rests the Gunilda, a 195ft Luxury Steam Yacht. Some poor decisions by owner William L. Harkness of New York City, a Standard Oil investor, led to the sinking of this beautiful ship.
It’s been just over 101 years since she sank but her condition seems eerily similar to the day she went down. A documentary by Jauques Cousteau refers to the gunilda as the Worlds best preserved prestigious shipwreck.
A small group of GUE divers pursued an opportunity to document this incredible vessel while preserving the image of this underwater treasure. With Canada’s scuba tourism industry growing it is up to clubs and individual divers to step up and take a part in preserving these wrecks from theft and damage. Diving a shipwreck like this is like traveling back in time and sites this well preserved are a precious resource we should all strive to protect.