Inside the Daniel J. Morrell Shipwreck: Lake Huron, Michigan
It's a good guess that the exact number of shipwrecks will never be determined. Any type of boat, ship, or floating transport you can think of - there is probably a wreck for it at the bottom of one of our Great Lakes...and even in our inland lakes.
The one this time around is the freighter S.S. Daniel J. Morrell that sank over 200 feet to the bottom of Lake Huron, about thirty miles northeast of Harbor Beach off the Michigan Thumb. It sank in November 1966, nine years to the month before the Edmund Fitzgerald under the same circumstances: “The Gales of November”.
The ship was built in the early 1900s and set 'sail' for the first time in 1906. At six hundred feet long, it was for transporting ore and cargo all around the Great Lakes. On November 29, 1966, the Morrell set out alongside its sister ship, the S.S. Edward Y. Townsend, on its final run of the season. Running into a massive storm, the Townsend sought refuge, but the Morrell was stubborn and kept pressing on. The ship was no match for the 60 MPH gales and 25-foot waves that crashed down upon it. The ship split in half and sank to the bottom of Lake Huron; when the wreck was discovered years later, the separate halves had settled six miles apart.
28 of the 29 crew members died. The sole survivor was found in a life raft, just wearing shorts, a lifejacket, and pea coat. Three others on the raft had froze to death.
The ship's current position is in an area containing many other ship and boat wrecks and is a haven for divers....not to steal, but to observe.
The sister ship Townsend never made another run and was scrapped. As it was being towed through the Atlantic Ocean to a European scrapyard, a storm came up, smacked the ship, and it also split in two as its brother, the Morrell.
Below are images inside and out of the wreckage of the S.S. Morrell...
Inside the Shipwreck Daniel J. Morrell
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