Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Preserve


Depth: 12′
Dimensions: 126′ x 26′ x 11′, 232 gross tons
Cargo: None
Cause of Sinking: Stranded in shallows after burning at dock
Built: 1857, Buffalo NY by Benjamin Buell Jones
Date Lost:  December 3, 1891
Construction: Wooden propeller, configured as a wrecking tug
Propulsion: Steam, twin-screw propeller
Skill Level: Novice / snorkel / kayak
Location: N45° 39.698′   W084° 26.100′


The Leviathan was a well-known and successful wrecking  tug, recovering many vessels from sinking, grounding, or other damage so that they could be repaired or rebuilt.  She was stationed at Cheboygan from 1858 onward.  She burned to a complete loss in December 1891, and the remains of the hulk were towed to an out-of-the-way location in Duncan Bay to decay.

Present Condition

The Leviathan has been mostly broken up by wind and ice, with the large bottom timbers remaining.  The engine bed points can be found, and a few small metal parts remain scattered about.  This site is  a short swim from the Genesee Chief, and has just as many fish hiding in the nooks and crannies.

Mooring Buoy Status

This site has a mooring near the main timbers, and is only about 300 feet from the Genesee Chief.   The site can also be accessed from shore via Cheboygan State Park.

The Straits of Mackinac Shipwreck Preserve maintains seasonal moorings at this site. Mooring are normally available from mid June 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 the Leviathan

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