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Divers find shipwreck from 1929 in Lake Michigan

A deep dive to the bottom of Lake Michigan uncovers the final resting place of a ship that sank back in 1929.

According to the Wisconsin Historical Society, on Halloween morning the Senator was rammed by another ship about 17 miles off the shore near Port Washington.

The fog was so thick the crews of the boats couldn’t see one another until it was too late to avoid the crash.

The 400-foot Senator sank in only five minutes and nine lives were lost.

The Senator was transporting more than 200 Nash automobiles. Nash was a pioneering, historically significant car company based in Kenosha.

“They are probably not in great condition, but that is a priceless collection of Nash parts at least. Now, I don’t know if it’s worth getting them, It’s in fresh water, there’s some corrosion but the parts are probably not destroyed,” says diver John Janzen of Waunakee.

Janzen made the dive with a friend over the weekend and says it was a very dangerous dive. No other human being has witnessed the ship in this state. Most recreational divers can only go 130 feet below the surface. The Senator sits at a depth of about 400 feet.

“A lot of specialty equipment. It’s a lot and not many divers are doing this. Worldwide, there’s just a handful of divers that are going to these types of depths,”

Paul Ehorn discovered the shipwreck in 2003 and sought out Janzen and his friend John Scoles for the dive.

They could only spend about 15 minutes exploring the ship but with the help of their support crew, two men named Chris Spoo and Tracy Xelowski, the team is planning another dive in September.


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