Michigan shipwrecks to be marked with buoys

Michigan shipwrecks to be marked with buoys

Plans for marking shipwrecks in Michigan's underwater preserves with mooring buoys as part of an effort to help preserve them have been several years in the making.

(Unrelated file photo) Drake Wreck Buoy in Church Bay, off Northern Ireland.

The goal is to help preserve the state's shipwrecks by giving divers another option besides hooking a line directly onto the wreck, as is customary now.

"Putting a mooring buoy on a shipwreck is absolutely, hands-down, the best form of physical protection you can do for a wreck," Wayne Lusardi, a state maritime archaeologist at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, told

Dive destination

Buoys would also help to market Michigan as a shipwreck diving destination. The moorings make the wrecks easier to locate and provide a safe means of descent and ascent for divers.

Buoys may be used by all visitors, though on a first come first served basis, and divers have priority over other users such as fishermen, kayakers, etc. The moorings are a safe, highly visible replacement for the many small and unlicensed marker floats that are frequently placed on the wrecks.


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