Officials: High water pushes shipwreck to Michigan shore

March 9, 2020 GMT

ROGERS CITY, Mich. (AP) — Wreckage from a freighter that sank in Lake Huron around 115 years ago has moved toward Michigan’s shoreline due to high water levels and waves, weakening the ruins further, officials said.

Joseph S. Fay was a ship that sank on October 19, 1905, The Alpena News reported Friday.

One side of the shipwreck had moved about 10 feet (3 meters) inland during a storm last October, said Eric Klein, lighthouse caretaker. He added that it has since been pushed further inland following a series of storms and estimated it’s now about 25 feet (7 meters) from its original location near the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse.

Klein said the waves have damaged the shipwreck over time.

“It’s basically eroding the wreck, and big pieces will come off and be washed away,” he said.

Klein said the wreck can’t be protected because it’s illegal to move or remove shipwreck artifacts from the water.

Wayne Lusardi, state Maritime Archaeologist, said even though water levels in the Great Lakes fluctuate over time, it’s unusual that waves are exposing artifacts and shipwreck pieces that haven’t been seen in a while.

Last year, sightings of wooden pieces of shipwrecks were common along Thunder Bay in Alpena and other communities.