Michigan abuzz over shipwreck search

tags: shipwrecks, Michigan, Great Lakes, Lake Michigan



FAIRPORT, MICH. — Commercial fisherman Larry Barbeau’s comings and goings usually don’t create much of a stir in this wind-swept Lake Michigan outpost, but in the past few days, his phone jangles the minute he arrives home.

Barbeau’s 46-foot boat is the offshore nerve center for an expedition seeking the underwater grave of the Griffin, the first ship of European design to traverse the upper Great Lakes. Built on orders of legendary French explorer Rene Robert Cavelier de la Salle, it ventured from Niagara Falls to Lake Michigan’s Green Bay but disappeared during its return in 1679.

Divers this weekend opened a pit at the base of a wooden beam that juts nearly 11 feet from the lake bottom, believing it could be a section of the vessel, the rest presumably entombed in mud. They picked up the pace Monday with more powerful equipment after a weekend of probing showed that whatever is buried is deeper than sonar readings indicated....



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