Exploring the wreck of the Lauren Castle in Grand Traverse Bay

The other day we stumbled upon this cool video of the wreck of the tug Lauren Castle from the Water Studies Institute at Northwestern Michigan College.

NMC Explains their underwater mapping program of Grand Traverse Bay and says:

Last year’s mapping concentrated on shallower areas of the bays andpinpointed for the first time the wreck of a ship, the Lauren Castle, near Suttons Bay, shown in these scanned images. When research concludes next month, a majority of the arms of Grand Traverse Bay will be mapped. The data will result in the first new maps in 80 years.

“The sophistication of this equipment is phenomenal .  This is the first time the bays have ever been imaged to this resolution,” said Hans VanSumeren, director of the Water Studies Institute.

The tug Lauren Castle was built in 1906 by the Delaware River Iron Ship Building & Engineering Company at Chester, PA with the original name General G.M. Sorrel. It had seven different owners during its 75 year career on the East Coast and in the Great Lakes. A a work tug, it engaged in a variety of tasks, especially the towing of commercial ships.

In 1974, Lauren Castle lost two crew men while assisting the cement carrier S.T. Crapo. On November 5, 1980 the Lauren Castle foundered with one loss of life on in Grand Traverse Bay while assisting the tanker Amoco Wisconsin. The shipwreck was discovered in 1999 by Thaddius Bedford, a local resident and current member of the Grand Traverse Bay Underwater Preserve Council. It is located about seven miles north of Traverse City within the West Bay, in approximately 390 feet of water.

See more images from the exploration of the bay at NMC!



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