The Wreck of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter

"At 2 a.m. on the morning of Monday, December 4, 1989, the 180-foot Coast Guard buoy tender Mesquite ran aground in 12 feet of the dark, icy waters of Lake Superior off Keweenaw Point in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  With a crew of 53 aboard, the cutter was in the process of removing aids to navigation from the lake prior to winter freeze.

The Mesquite suffered severe damage which caused extensive flooding of the engine room.  A list to the port side developed, and by 6:20 a.m. Lt. Cmdr. J.R. Lynch, the commanding officer, had ordered abandon ship....Severe weather following the accident left the ship in a poor condition....By mid-December the Coast Guard had determined that the cutter could not be saved.  The vessel was considered a 'constructive total loss'."
(from "Shipwreck of the Mesquite -- Death of a Coast Guard Cutter" by Fredrick Stonehouse)

Click on Image for larger view:

The Wreck of the Coast Guard Cutter Mesquite as she appears on the bottom of Lake Superior

Schematic diagram of the different decks and rooms of the Mesquite

Map showing the general location of the wreck

Interactive Exploration of Mesquite
A college computer project - Travel to Mesquite and explore the wreck with various clicks of your mouse.

Slideshow Tour
A haunting tour of the Mesquite intermingled with similar views of her sister ship the Sundew. Swim along her decks in about 95 feet of water, then drop down 108 feet below the surface, below decks to her engine room. Swim around the engine looking at the different gauges and tools there, then back up a deck level for a quick peek into some of the other rooms, but remember.... bottom time at this depth is short, so don't stay too long.

Autumn on the Keweenaw
A related slide show of fall colors around the Keweenaw.... I can't spend the whole day underwater you know -- Enjoy.

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