Shipwrecks are true time capsules that not only provoke our imagination – shipwrecks contain real artifacts from another time, unexpectedly snatched from the surface world by the forces of nature. No one, at the time of a shipwreck, had time to prepare it for future discovery. Given the extreme depth of most of Lake Superior’s shipwrecks, wreck sites remain undisturbed. Shipwreck Society exploration continues to leave wrecks and artifacts as they lay; the only activity that takes place is professional documentation.
There are over 6,000 shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, having caused an estimate loss of 30,000 mariners’ lives. It is estimated that there are about 550 wrecks in Lake Superior, most of which are undiscovered. At least 200 lie along Lake Superior’s Shipwreck Coast, a treacherous 80- stretch of shoreline with no safe harbor between Munising, Michigan, and Whitefish Point. The famous Edmund Fitzgerald lies just 15 miles to the northwest of Whitefish Point.
The Society’s most recent discovery was the wreck of the steamer Cyprus that went down on October 11, 1907, with only one survivor. Researchers aboard the Society’s R.V. David Boyd conducted preliminary documentation of this wreck in August 2007.