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Great Lakes Shipwreck Exploration

Embark on a Shipwreck Exploration Adventure for Non-Divers

   **For recent developments, please check out Captain Roblee's Facebook Page.** 

Join a group aboard the Research Vessel Agassiz in the summer of 2021, where we will use state-of- the-art technology to locate and image shipwrecks in the waters of the Keweenaw Peninsula on Lake Superior. The week-long experience is intended for people who are not divers and would like to learn how an actual shipwreck search and exploration is conducted.  The base for these activities is the Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) on the Keweenaw Waterway at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan. 

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The vessel will operate in the near- and offshore waters of Lake Superior as well as the Keweenaw Waterway. 

Work with experienced University staff aboard the R/V Agassiz while we search for undiscovered wrecks and image known wrecks using the remote sensing technology deployed safely from the deck of our US Coast Guard inspected and certified 36-foot vessel.

Shipwreck Exploration Schedule and Locations 

This is a five-day experience. Weather permitting, four days will be spent aboard the Agassiz searching and imaging shipwrecks. Because research is a basic step in shipwreck exploration, one day will be spent doing archival research in the University Archives in the J. Robert Van Pelt  and Opie Library.

All on-the-water vessel activities are weather dependent. Safety of participants is primary. Operations scheduling and locations will be determined by the captain.

Travel Tips and Details

Some day trips will depart from the GLRC docks on Michigan Tech's campus. On other days, you may be transported by van from the GLRC to other strategically located docks to board the vessel. 

  • Be prepared for possible wet and chilly conditions
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, and insect repellent may also be helpful
  • Box lunches will be provided while onboard
  • The exploration is not suitable for children 

Be a Part of Our Search for Shipwrecks

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GLRC provides cutting-edge shipwreck underwater exploration equipment for the exploration, as it has for previous projects on the Great Lakes. In summer 2018, Michigan Tech researchers were contracted to image two recently discovered shipwrecks in northern Lake Huron using the IVER3 autonomous underwater vehicle. These ships were lost in 1894 and 1915.   

In summer 2019, a GLRC team set an even more ambitious goal, conducting a deep-water search with side-scan sonar that attempted to solve the greatest shipwreck mystery of Lake Superior, the loss of the 143-foot French minesweepers Cerisoles and Inkerman lost in a November 1918 storm. The combined crew of 79, including one Canadian Great Lakes pilot on each ship in addition to the French sailors, represents the largest loss of life in Lake Superior maritime history. Join us aboard while we continue the search, focusing on a possible target identified.    

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Underwater Imaging for Shipwrecks and Artifacts 

In the summer of 2018 the Agassiz crew discovered another shipwreck after deploying side-scan sonar and subsequently imaged it with our remotely operated underwater vehicle. During your exploration, you'll help us learn more about this vessel as we operate our Outlander10000 ROV and side-scan technology. 

Registration opens in April 2021. For updates, join our electronic mailing list.

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