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Lake Huron - Sanilac Underwater Preserve

North Star

Depth 80-100 ft/ Length 299 ft/ launched 1889/ lost 1908 in collision with a sister ship

Six identical sisters were constructed in 1888- 1889 by the Globe Iron Works company of Cleveland, Ohio. They were North Star; North Wind; Northern Light; Northern Queen; Northern King and Northern Wave. 300' long North Star was the first to sink among her siblings and North Wind was the last remaining in the Lakes. The other four were sold for salt water use. Northern Light sunk off the coast of Florida in 1930 and the other three were scrapped.

On the cold foggy morning in November, 1908, North Star met her fate, in the hands of her sister ship, Northern Queen. The two vessels collided in the dense fog with Northern Queen ramming the Star in the starboard side close to bow, resulting in the hole so huge, it took bare minutes for the Star to sink. Before she sunk however, her crew did launched the lifeboats and made it safely to the sister ship.

Unlike her sibling North Wind, North Star is in a very collapsed state. It almost split in three pieces with the bow separated form the rest of the ship by a gap about 15-20 ft wide. It is often the case that the visibility on the site is less then the gap, which explains why the local divers call this gap "a leap of faith".

Highlights include huge triple expansion engine, sitting perfectly upright and intact at the depth of 100ft and twin boilers that fell to the starboard side during sinking.  Anchors are still sitting around the bow and prop is still in its place at the stern

Hazards include depth (80-100 ft); Leap of Faith and extremely disorienting layout of this site. It is further often complicated by poor visibility - i would not recommend this site for beginning divers.

The old shots from 2005

anchor_shadow-thumb.jpg (13659 bytes) anchor2_thumb.jpg (13964 bytes) anchor1_thumb.jpg (17093 bytes) bow_thumb.jpg (13050 bytes) engine_thumb.jpg (13674 bytes) engine1_thumb.jpg (13621 bytes) prop_thumb.jpg (13593 bytes) side_thumb.jpg (15187 bytes)