Scuba diving in the Straits of Mackinac is fun, dangerous, adventurous, full of discoveries…..and legal. The Straits of Mackinac Underwater Preserve is loaded – I mean loaded - with shipwrecks dating as far back as the 1800s…and probably earlier. Ninety wrecks have been recorded in the area and the majority of them welcome anyone who wants to boat, dive, kayak, snorkel, or swim to the areas.

Experienced divers can check out the deepest wrecks, while beginners have a number of shallow water wrecks they can investigate. The Straits stretch out from the tip of Lake Michigan to the tip of Lake Huron, with the Mackinac Bridge splittin’ it down the middle.

Some of the wrecks to dive and witness include the Cayuga, Cedarville, Eber Ward, M. Stalker, Minneapolis, Newell A. Eddy, Northwest, Sandusky, Uganda, William H. Barnum, and William Young, of which some are seen in the gallery below.

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Why are so many ships wrecked here? The Straits are chuck-full of rocky shoals and shallow water, not to mention the strong gales that zip through, magnified and made even stronger. It’s almost as if the five-mile long Mackinac Bridge is an overall tombstone, hovering over all these wrecks. You name the type of boat or ship, and it’s here lying on the bottom. Ferry boats, Steel freighters, sailboats, schooners, tankers, wooden freighters…..even kayaks and motorboats.

Since 1983, the preserve’s 148 square miles of shipwrecks have made for a great dive. If you can’t go yourself, check out the gallery below, showing a good handful of wrecks that await you on the floor of the Great Lakes…

Shipwrecks in the Straits of Mackinac


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Sunken WWII Plane in Lake Michigan

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