117th Street Wreck Dive Site
he Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society
The Great Lakes in the continental United States have some of the most historical wreck sites in the United States. So many discoveries have been made in these bodies of water in the past few decades. The cold waters of the lake preserve the wrecks quite well so that different generations of divers can make significant discoveries of their own. The area is not only a place where avid divers converge, but it has also become a hub for historians, history buffs, and collectors of artifacts.
The Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society has meticulously documented all the findings and discoveries made in the region. This non-profit organization has also been working since 1978 to preserve historical shipwrecks. Every wreck that lies in the murky waters of the Great Lakes has played a role in the history of the region. Each of them tells a story and they all helped shape the nation, although they all came to a tragic end. Because of the number of shipwrecks in the area, the Great Lakes area is very popular in the diving community. Divers are not the only people who visit the region. There are maritime history professionals, dive guides and charter captains as well, all of them interested in wrecks and the mysteries they hold.
Resources available to the public
Aside from the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, there are other resources available that provide useful information to divers. Many of these organizations maintain websites that support the needs of recreational divers. Most of the information about a dive site can easily be found. The locations of shipwrecks are provided and details about each wreck are posted online. Although some wrecks are not revealed to the public, particularly ones that contain important historical artifacts that require documentation and preservation, many of the wrecks are available for public access.
The very best of these websites are dynamic such that they are regularly updated. Still, they make it a point to sustain the mystery of shipwreck diving that attracts hundreds of amateurs and professionals year-round.
ake Erie is one of the most popular sites for recreational diving. Many shipwrecks have been discovered in this famous body of water, one of which is the 117th Street Wreck. Located in Cleveland, about 2.7 miles from the harbor entrance, the ship lies in the gloom with its bow half-intact. There is no surety, but it is believed that the ship was scuttled. Mike Wachter and Georgan Wachter discovered it on the hard packed mud bottom. A lot of debris is scattered about the ship, including a metal ladder. Pulley wheels can be found all around as well ceramic electrical parts and crock pieces. A curious metal structure that looks like a box is found at the ship’s bow. The tugboat was made from metal and wood. It was meant primarily to transport cargo in its heyday.
This wreck, which is not known by any other name, is accessible by boat. The wreck lies under 40 feet of water with 3-5 inches of visibility available to divers. This site is generally considered safe, with no known hazards to intrepid explorers. Even the exact coordinates are provided to divers. For instance, this site lies in this specific location: Latitude/Longitude (Degrees): 41.512950 / -81.729190; Latitude/Longitude (Deg Min Sec): 41 30 46.62 / -81 43 45.08; Latitude/Longitude (Deg Min): 41 30.77700 / -81 43.75140.
Websites dedicated to shipwreck diving also provide recreational divers wanting to explore what the Great Lakes have to offer. For example, divers who are already exploring the Lake Erie 117th St. wreck can check out listed nearby sites such as the Algeria, the (0.87 miles), the Charles H. Davis (0.1 miles), the Mabel Wilson (0.5 miles), and the Fannie L. Jones (0.16 miles).
Divers who go to the Great Lakes to dive must learn about the risks involved in deep diving. Decompression sickness, nitrogen narcosis is real dangers that divers need to learn about. There are also numerous scuba diving schools in the area for beginners or divers who want to attain advanced skills. Class offerings usually include lessons in rescue diving, diving in open water, and dive master classes as well. There are private classes and group classes as well given by seasoned dive instructors who know the Great Lakes better than anyone does.
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