Trotter’s Barge

N 42° 46.802″, W 086° 24.025, 250′ deep

In 2004, in the course of side scan sonar work with David Trotter off Holland, Michigan, MSRA discovered an open top commercial barge. Subsequent dives, by MSRA affiliate divers, Bob Underhill and Jeff Vos, confirmed that it is 195 feet long by 34 feet wide. It sits upright on the bottom, has no cargo, and is devoid of any equipment. Conversations with a variety of local marine contractors did not locate anyone who would claim the loss of such a vessel. Because no one would claim the barge and the fact that the vessel does not offer any evidence of accidental sinking, MSRA believes the vessel may have been intentionally sunk. MSRA has no plans to pursue the circumstances of the sinking.

Visibility at the site has proved to be excellent — over 50′ during the times it was dived in 2004. At 250′, there is ambient light at the bottom, but dive lights bring out the color of the steel – red. There appear to be no possible entanglements on the site, but caution is always important when diving at this depth. It may be difficult to grapple the wreck, although not impossible. The only real place to hook the wreck is around the cowling/gunwale that surrounds the cargo opening. This site should prove to be an excellent training site for technical divers.

The wreck was completely video taped by Bob Underhill, and that footage, along with the process of discovery and identification, is detailed on MSRA’s production Mystery Wreck at Forty Fathoms, which is available through this web site.