Depth: 70' to 84'
Beam: 25'
Cause of sinking: Gail
Built: 1848, Sandusky, Ohio
Date Lost:
September 20th, 1856
Construction Type:
Wooden Two Masted Brig
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Location: Lat:  45 48.09’N
Long: 084 50.08’W
Built in 1848 in Sandusky OH, the brig Sandusky is the oldest know shipwreck in the Preserve frequented by divers. She was bound from Chicago to Buffalo with a load of grain When she sank September 20, 1856. A violent gale sprang up on the northern end of Lake Michigan, catching the Sandusky in the Straits. The side-wheeler Queen City attempted to rescue three of the crew that still clanged to her masts that stuck out of the water. The Queen City was unsuccessful and the entire seven crew members were lost.

The Sandusky sits upright and intact in 85' of water, five miles west of the bridge, in Lake Michigan. The mooring is about 20' off the Sandusky's port stern. There are a number of interesting artifacts on and around the wreck, to include a scroll figurehead. We ask that divers not touch or disrupt any of the artifacts, as the Sandusky is showing signs of wear and damage.
Present Condition
he Sandusky is, perhaps, the best known and most visited dive site in the Straits of Mackinac. She is in relatively shallow water and is a well-preserved example of early Great Lakes sailing vessels. Upright on the bottom, her bowsprit still points upward and a ram's head figurehead crowns the bow. Figureheads are not typical on Great Lakes ships and this one is a replica. The original was removed for preservation after an attempted theft some years ago. While much of her hardware has illegally disappeared over the years, her rudder, tiller, capstan, working bilge pump, masts and rigging are still on site.
Mooring Buoy Status: Removed for Season
The Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Preserve maintains seasonal moorings at this site. Mooring are available from May to September, the moorings make for easier location, safer diving and protect shipwrecks from damage from anchors and hooks. Vessels are required to use these moorings when they're present.

Photos of the Sandusky

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