Lake Erie Shipwreck And Dive Location Crew Page

map Alphabetical Shipwreck Index

Seaduction Photo
The above is a photo of the Seaduction II docked at Sima Marina off the Chagrin River.
The Seaduction II is a 10 meter mid-cabin Trojan powered by twin inboards delivering 750 horsepower. It was purchased by Captain John Koch in the Spring of 2000. John generally has his boat in the water by late May and removes it some time in late October. By the beginning of November the weather here is too cold and unpredictable and the storms on the lake too dangerous for most small vessels. Aside from the storms, there is another reason we don't go boating on Lake Erie in the winter.
Our time on the lake is divided between diving known wrecks and searching for those which are lost. In addition, Captain John occasionally assists Discovery Dive Charters out of Wildwood State Park. You will find a link to their site on the previous page.
Like most wreck hunters on the lakes, we are a loosely knit group of amateurs. Some of us are divers, some help man the search instruments, and others come along just for the ride. You will find us out on the water off Cleveland most weekends when the wind and waves permit. In other words, not often enough.
Most of the actual maintenance of this web site is done by James Koch during the Fall , Winter, and Spring. Fortunately the Cleveland Public Library has an excellent collection of local and regional newspapers on microfilm from which we are able to derive a wealth of historical information.
Seaduction Crew Photo
The above is a photo from the summer of 1996. On the left is Scuba John, always the first man in the water and usually the last one out. In the center is our skipper John Koch, the owner of the Seaduction II. To the right is Kevin, just emerging from the water.
Photo of Bronson in Wetsuit
Here's a nice underwater shot of Bronson, who dives by the book.
. Wet suits are a must in the lakes. In August Erie's surface waters reach a temperature of around 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 Degrees Centigrade), which is fine for swimming. However, the wrecks deep enough to be intact (not shredded by the winter ice flows) lie mostly below the thermocline where the water can be a bit chilly. The depth of the central basin of the lake off Cleveland reaches a maximum of about 80 feet. We usually hit 70 feet within a few miles of shore. So most remaining wrecks in our area lie below the thermocline.
One of the instruments we use in our searches is a device known as a boat towed proton magnetometer. This is a type of magnetic field detector. It detects metals, but works on a completely different principle from the hand held versions with which most people are familiar. The common hand held metal detector contains a coil through which a constant current is passed. When this coil comes within a few feet of a piece of metal, the field around the coil is disrupted generating a signal. A proton magnetometer is a long range device used to detect much larger objects. The yellow plastic finned probe which is towed 100 feet behind a boat contains a glass cylinder filled with kerosene. Around this is wrapped a magnetic coil. A current is passed through the coil generating a strong magnetic field which polarizes the molecules of the kerosene. At intervals of from 1 to 3 seconds the current is cut and the magnetic field in the coil collapses. This allows the molecules in the kerosene to de-polarize. The rate at which this occurs is dependent upon the earth's magnetic field in the immediate area. A large object like a shipwreck or a mass of iron ore will cause a local disruption in the Earth's magnetic field. Encountering one of these will cause the rate of depolarization to change. Such a change produces a visual signal on the magnetometer screen. The advantage of this device is that it will detect the presence of a large object at a distance from the boat. The disadvantage is that it will signal the presence of geological as well as man made objects and provides no clue as to what is being detected! We have also had problems in the past with false positive readings, false negative readings, and interference from the boat's generators.
Photo of Sarah
This is Sonar Sarah holding our proton magnetometer tow fish.
In addition to the magnetometer, we recently purchased a high quality side scan sonar. This is mounted on a mast attached to the transom on the aft of the boat. In deeper water this device gives an image of the bottom under and to both sides of the vessel. We use it in conjunction with the magnetometer to verify promising hits. The advantage of the sonar is that it produces an image on a screen of what actually lies below. It has the disadvantage of having a limited range. Also, the model we are using has no recording ability which means it must be watched constantly to avoid passing right over a target. It is also useless once the waves hit 3 feet, since the rocking of the boat and the attached device gives an erratic image.

Ore Boat Photo
The above is a photo of one of the many typical lake bulk freighters we encounter while dragging our magnetometer over various wreck sites.

MapA MapB MapC MapD Alphabetical Shipwreck Index