Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Preserve

Chuck’s Barge

Depth: 50′
Dimensions: 60′ x 30′ x 20′
Cargo: None
Cause of Sinking: Capsized and sank
Built: Unknown
Date Lost: 1940’s
Construction: Wooden dump barge
Propulsion: None
Skill Level: Beginner
Location: N45° 50.859′ W84° 50.849′


Located by Chuck & Jeri Feltner in 1982, this is a wooden dump barge that lies inverted on the lake bottom.  These vessels were commonly called “dump scows” and were filled with dredged material from harbors and channels, and then taken to deeper water to be dumped.  The bottom of each compartment consists of two large doors that were held closed with heavy chains.  Releasing the chains would open the compartment and dump the contents.  The history of this vessel is unconfirmed but it is believed to been lost in the 1940’s by Durocher Dock and Dredge of Cheboygan MI.

Present Condition

The barge lies inverted on the lake bottom, with the gates open.  It lies about one mile east of St. Helena Light.  It is fully intact, and the top of the hull reaches up to about 30 feet from the surface.  This is a small vessel, but it is a good site for beginning divers to work on skills.  The nearby C.H. Johnson, off Gros Cap, makes a good second dive.

Mooring Buoy Status

A helix anchor was installed alongside the wreck in 2023.  The mooring buoy has been installed for the  2024 season.

The Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Preserve maintains seasonal moorings at this site. Mooring are normally available from late May to early 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 Chuck’s Barge


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