Storm surge on Lake Michigan uncovers shipwreck

(Photo by: Tim Wallace/WMUP)

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WZZM) — A shipwreck that had been buried under sand just off the Muskegon coast was discovered after Wednesday's storm with strong winds and massive waves uncovered it.

Gary Passon and John Hanson with the West Michigan Underwater Preserve (WMUP) were taking measurements and investigating the ship's construction Friday, hoping to gather enough information to identify the wreck.

The WMUP is a non-profit organization that partners with the state of Michigan to help preserve shipwrecks and educate the public on them. Hanson said they are working with the state marine archaeologist to identify the ship.

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Hanson said storm surge uncovered the wreck, which is off the coast of private property in Muskegon.

Wednesday's storm caused significant damage to the Lake Michigan shoreline, which has already been battered by fall storms. In Holland, the high water levels and the storm surge produced near-record high water levels. At Holland State Park, sidewalks along the Lake Macatawa channel fell apart as the sand beneath them eroded. In Ludington, the destruction was similar.

The last time the water levels reached that high was in 1985, according to the National Weather Service.