Diving the St. Clair River
The St. Clair River is home to some great, swift diving sites with adventures at every turn. This is a list of the wreck locations provided by Cris Kohl in The Great Lakes Diving Guide, that I'm targeting in the upcoming seasons. As I check them off I'll look to add additional detail, photos, etc.
  • Fontana
  • Charles H. Weeks
  • John B. Martin
  • Sidney E. Smith, Jr. boom
  • Clay Wall
  • M. E. Tremble
    This wreck lies off the US. side just below the Bluewater Bridges. The large, three-masted schooner, M. E. Tremble (198' x 34’5" x 13'4”), was under tow of the steamer, B. W. Blanchard, on the night of September 7, 1890, when the downbound steamer, W. L. Wetmore (which is also in this book) crashed into her port side. The crew hastily launched the yawl boat and left the sinking ship, realizing too late that one of their number had been left behind and was struggling for survival in the doomed ship’s rigging. Unfortunately, he perished. Recovery of the coal cargo resulted in the accidental sinking of the salvage schooner, Ben Hur, when it was struck by a passing schooner-barge, the Superior, in tow of the Passaic, along with a small lighter which tended its cables, on November 8, 1890. [Source: The Great Lakes Diving Guide by Cris Kohl]
    Video of our Tremble dive last year:
  • Ben Hurr
    The Ben Hur (314 tons, built in 1874 at Dunnville, Ontario) today lies upside down, upstream of, but alongside the wreck of the M.E. Tremble, which lies across the current, while the lighter sits broken up just downstream from the Tremble. With the installation ofa long, steel breakwall here in the late 1980’S, it has become more challenging to reach this wreck and then exit the water. Divers often suit up and jump in right beneath the Bluewater Bridges and let the current swiftly take them to the wrecks. This could be tricky in low visibility and is not recommended, as the strong current could pin diver against the wreck. Use of a dive flag is mandatory in Michigan waters, although some divers tie one off where they enter the water and have another one anchored where they intend to surface. You have to be good to do this, because the law states that you must surface within 50' of your flag.[Source: The Great Lakes Diving Guide by Cris Kohl]
  • A. R. Colborn & Crane
    Video of dive last year:
  • Sidney E. Smith, Jr. Dock
  • Saltillo
  • Lansing Shoal Lightship No. 055 / James Beard Ferry
    Dive on June 26, 2018
    Photograph via U.S. Coast Guard
    These wrecks lie along the southeast edge of Port Huron, MI and are 'believed' to be the Lansing Shoal Lightship No. 055 and James Beard Ferry based on previous data however, unverified at this time.
    The current is swift as its the St. Clair River, however, these wrecks are easily accessible from the shore and have plenty of hand helds along the way. You will need to swim/climb back up river to exit because if you make it too far down river there is no place to exit the sea wall without a lengthy drift. Be sure to sail a dive flag out over the wrecks as there are plenty of fishing boats that visit this area.
    Lansing Shoal Lightship No. 055
    originally built in 1891 was 90' in length, 20' wide a depth of 9' and gross tonnage of 129. It was converted to tug in 1922 (96 x 21 x 11.75; 142 gross - 96 net) and abandoned in 1932 after a long career as a light ship. Registry Info
    James Beard
    was a 86-ton ferry (72'5" x 17'2" x 6'3"), built at Au Sable, Michigan in 1873 as the Wesley Hawkins was renamed in 1882 when she was rebuilt. For 40+ years, she worked as a ferry between Port Huron and Sarnia, but was abandoned in 1927. [Source: The Great Lakes Diving Guide by Cris Kohl]
  • Mineral Rock
  • Nelson Mills
  • John Francomb/Dashing Wave
  • William Dickinson
  • Joseph Duvall