Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve -Inner Bay near Alpena, and South shoreline to the southern edge of Alcona County
Unique among Michigan’s Underwater Preserves, Thunder Bay is home to both a National Marine Sanctuary and an Underwater Preserve. As such, it benefits from joint NOAA and State management. It is significant as the first Great Lakes national marine sanctuary. The Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve has been greatly enlarged by federal and state authorities, and now stretches from the northern Presque Isle county line to the southern Alcona county line and extends from the shore to the international boundary in Lake Huron.
This page will give you information about sites in the inner bay section of the Sanctuary near Alpena, and down the shore southward to the edge of the Sanctuary/Preserve boundary.
For more information on things to do and see in the area of the Sanctuary and Preserve, consult the websites for the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Alpena Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Alpena Chamber of Commerce.
Shipwrecks & Dive Sites
|Wreck Name & Year Lost||Depth||GPS/LAT/LON|
|Shamrock (1905)||11′||N 45° 03.077 W 083° 26.052|
|John F. Warner (1890)||9′||N 45° 03.050 W 083° 26.128|
|Harvey Bissell (1905)||14′||N 45° 03.287 W 083° 25.603|
|Bay City (1902)||11′||N 45° 03.369 W 083° 25.605|
|James H. Hall (1916)||6′||N 45° 03.444 W 083°25.764|
|William P. Rend (1917)||17′||N 45° 03.742 W 083° 23.555|
|Light Guard (1903)||6′||N 45° 03.670 W 083° 22.095|
|Knight Templar (1903)||5′||N 45° 03.705 W 083° 22.099|
|Haltiner’s aka Scanlon’s Barge (1929)||17||N 45° 02.146 W 083° 19.631|
|Barge #1 – wooden car-ferry (1918)||42′||N 45° 00.919 W 083° 18.238|
|Oscar T. Flint (1909)||32′||N 45° 01.568 W 084° 20.843|
|William H. Stevens (1863)||10′||N 44° 53.773 W 083° 19.653|
|Nellie Gardner (1883)||20′||N 44° 53.550 W 083° 19.500|
|Alvin Buckingham (1870)||8′||N 44° 50.459 W 083° 17.123|
|W.H. Rounds (1905)||6′||N 44° 50.219 W 083° 16.939|
|Mackinaw (1890)||6′||N 44° 48.890 W 083° 16.960|
|Ishpeming (1903)||12′||N 44° 48.589 W 083° 16.650|
|Venus (1887)||12′||N 44° 48.588 W 083° 16.650|
|City of Alpena (1880)||9′||N 44° 47.268 W 083° 17.664|
|Marine City (1883)||5′||N 44° 46.237 W 083° 17.366|
|Northern Light (1880)||3′||N 44° 39.616 W 083° 17.209|
|Detroit (1872)||10′||N 44° 35.171 W 083° 18.686|
|Goshawk (1920) (outside Preserve)||40′||N 44° 14.950 W 083° 24.960|
For more information on these and other Thunder Bay sites, check out the Sanctuary shipwreck pages here.
Oscar T. Flint
A 218-ft wooden steam-barge, in November 1909 the Flint caught fire after loading limestone in Alpena, burning to the waterline and sinking in 30-ft of water.. Much of the hull is intact and full of stone. The anchors and windlass now seen near the bow were reportedly brought here from the Lucinda Van Valkenburg wreck.
Shamrock & John F. Warner
The small steamer Shamrock began leaking while downbound off Presque Isle, and was towed into Alpena where she settled to the bottom at an exposed waterfront pier. Heavy seas broke her into pieces, so the hulk was relocated to be out of the way of navigation, near the John Warner in 15 ft of water. The Warner was a 3-masted schooner that stranded off the river mouth when her anchor chains parted. She pounded on the bottom until she broke in two, and the remains were relocated to clear the navigation channel. This pair of sites are great for kayak and snorkel visitors as they are not far off shore.
The side-wheel steamer Marine City kept busy carrying passengers and freight all along Michigan’s Lake Huron shoreline. In late August 1880 she caught fire near Sturgeon Point and panicked passengers leapt into the lake to escape the flames. Most were rescued by the ship’s crew, the Sturgeon Point Lifesavers, and other nearby vessels, but 5 lives were lost. The remains sit in only a few feet of water, sometimes exposed during low water.