Lake Huron enters the St. Clair River at this point with the Blue Water Bridge connecting the United States and Canada. Most people that visit the area are not aware of all that is below the surface. As shown below, this part of the St. Clair River is full of Maritime History, Shipwrecks and Artifacts. Over the years many ships were lost along with numerous lives in what was once called the "St. Clair Rapids". This has been and still remains the most challenging area of the St. Lawrence Seaway for ships to navigate.

Photographer: William J. Churill

For many years ships were allowed to pass each other in this area once known as the "St. Clair Rapids". Many ships were lost with numerous lives in these deceivingly tranquil waters. With the very swift currents and sharp bend in the river, navigation of vessels can be difficult, thus the cause of many of these losses. Now the flow of shipping traffic is controlled by SARNIA TRAFFIC which operates out of a tower near the bridge. They monitor and control the flow of traffic in the St. Clair River, similar to an air traffic controller, so that only one ship goes through this part of the river at any given time.

 The Dive Sites listed below are high risk dive sites. The river current here is rather strong at (6-8 knots), surging at times and turbulent near the wreck's, it can be disorientating. During the summer months there is much boat traffic along with the occasional Freighter (Ship), because of this, surfacing anyplace other than the shoreline can be hazardous. Do not hesitate to abort a dive! Please consult a local Dive Shop and/or other Divers familiar with the area before attempting to dive any of these sites. Dive at your own risk.

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  Originally built as the W.H. SIMPSON in 1889 by Reiboldt & Wolter, Sheboygan, WI. she was renamed the MONARCH in 1933. On July 7, 1934 the 60 foot wooden tug was towing another vessel upstream. The strong currents in the area caused the vessel in tow to pull the MONARCH over on her side. She took on too much water and sank stern first after righting herself. Unfortunately (4) lives were lost in the incident.

Located on the Canadian side just South of the Blue Water Bridge. Lying on her starboard side with the bow facing upstream, the hull is mainly intact with some access to interior at a depth of 50ft. A steel staircase and cable can help guide you to the wreck. Use caution at the wreck because currents coming over the top can be strong. This dive is rated Upper Intermediate. Note: There is now a Casino just South of this entrance point. For security reasons, entrance at this point may not be available at times.


This truck lies upright approximately 100 yards Northeast of the TREMBLE. There is no story available on how it got there.

To reach this, entry is suggested near the second parking area South of the bridge. head out till you reach 60 - 65 ft. depth and go with the current. It is at approx. 65 ft. in depth facing upstream. When leaving, head approx 45 degrees of the left rear corner. This heading should put you at the TREMBLE which is approx. 100yds. away.

 

Left: Steering wheel on the truck covered with zebra mussels.

 Photographs by: Keith W. Churill                             

   Through June and into July many Sturgeon (shown below) can be seen in this area. Most of them average 3 to 5 ft. in length.  I have had the rare experience of seeing one approximately 8 ft. long. That statement being a true fish story. There are also many Walleye schooled up throughout the year. Schools of 20 to 30 not being uncommon.

 Along the entire length of the St. Clair River many old artifacts can be found. In this photo to the left you can see a sample of artifacts. Items are: Cameo Hair Pin, Broken Old English China, Iron ore, Coal, Hull Spikes, Apothecary Bottle, part of a Harmonica and some type of Fitting.

Note: Collection of these items is strongly discouraged. This will let many fellow divers enjoy this part of the St. Clair River history for many years to come. With the St. Clair River not being part of any underwater preserve, it is unclear whether or not these items can be legally collected. The river bottom land is property of the State of Michigan and Ontario Canada which ads question to ownership of the artifacts.

Photographer: Keith W. Churill

Six foot Sturgeon near the International Scout.

Photographer: Keith W. Churill

Walleye near the M.E. Tremble

 

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