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Scuba Diving in Eber Ward wreck, Lake Michigan, Michigan USA

Skill Level:
Advanced to Expert
Depth:
105ft /32m - 150ft /45.7m
Diving Season:
June to September
Currents:
Quite strong
Dangers:
Surface storms, low visibility
The Straits of Mackinac Underwater Preserve lies at the northern tip of Lakes Michigan and Huron and tries to preserve Michigan’s shipwrecks for later generations. Over the years, a large number of ships have submerged in the Straits, many of them have yet to be discovered.

The Eber Ward is an excellent example of a classic wooden bulk freighter. The 213 ft/64.92 m long ship was built in 1888, it was cut by ice and sank on April 9, 1909 in Lake Michigan. She lays upright and intact about 5 mi/8.04 km west of the bridge in 150 ft /45.7 m depth of water. Her deck can be reached at 105 ft/32 m depth.

The engine is visible from the deck. A large and unique “mushroom” anchor hangs on the port side of the bow. One of her lifeboats rests overturned on the bottom, off the starboard stern, where you can also find her cook stove. Lots of dinnerware were recovered in the area, before it became illegal to bring back artifacts. The Eber Ward was rediscovered in 1980 by Chuck Feltner and has become one of the most popular dive sites in the Straits of Mackinac Underwater Preserve.

Items of interest for divers can be her engines and boilers. Her smokestack is off the starboard side. There are penetration opportunities, such as the holds that can be easily accessed by those trained to do so. Keep in mind that this area can be tricky to dive, due to currents, low visibility and surface storms. The Eber Ward has killed several divers! If not properly trained, don’t dive.

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