Ocean Wave (Tamara Thomsen photo, 2005)
Ocean Wave Shipwreck
Lake Michigan, Door County
Date of Construction: 1860
Builder: Robert Chambers
The scow schooner Ocean Wave was inadvertently located in 2003 when a fishing vessel discovered a wooden mast entangled in its nets. Built on Harrison's Island, Michigan in 1860, the Ocean Wave was bound for White Lake, Michigan with a load of limestone from Moonlight Bay when she foundered in a storm just after 3:00 AM on September 23, 1869. Sinking quickly, the crew barely escaped in their yawl boat and paddled through the night, arriving safe, yet exhausted, at Whitefish Point that morning. Resting in 110 feet of water off Whitefish Point, the wreck is broken up, but the bow and bowsprit still stand upright, making a unique dive and an excellent site to document scow schooner construction.
State and federal laws protect this shipwreck. Divers may not remove artifacts or structure when visiting this shipwreck site. Removing, defacing, displacing or destroying artifacts or sites is a crime. More information on Wisconsin's historic shipwrecks may be found by visiting Wisconsin's Great Lakes Shipwrecks website.