Dredge No 6

A Shipwreck with Two Names

Dredge No. 6 is a large crane barge that capsized during heavy winds on May 23, 1956, off from Milwaukee. Nine members of her crew drowned in the accident, and some of the bodies are rumored to still be aboard.

Dredge No. 6 was known for years as the 906 Dredge, a misreading of “No 6” in a handwritten document. The name was corrected when one of the descendants of a crew member corrected the error.

The Dredge now sits upside-down about 3 miles off from Milwaukee with equipment and debris scattered around her. The scoop from her crane is one of the most interesting remains, but being able to swim under the main wreckage is what excites most divers. This is because the Dredge turned upside down when she capsized and is suspended above the lake bottom by two retracked arms sunk into the lake bottom.

There are several doorways into the wreck that can be located underneath the wreckage. In one doorway divers may see the famous human skull that haunts the wreck. Among other famous inhabitants of Dredge No. 6 are Lake Michigan Fairy Shrimp. These increasingly rare creatures hide in the recesses of the wreckage. Divers should look for these tiny creatures well towards the front of the wreck when they swim underneath. Another good place to find Fairy Shrimp are in the cylindrical tube that lies along the port side.

Depth on this dive is 30 to 40 feet to the hull and 75 feet to the sand, making this a suitable dive for intermediate level divers.

Dredge No. 6 remains one of Milwaukee's most popular dive sites. However, divers should exercise caution when swimming through the debris under the wreck. A dive light is strongly recommended.

Maximum depth: 75 feet
Distance from surface: 30 feet
Dimensions: 110' x 40' x 11'5"
Moorings: One mooring buoy attached to stabilizing heel
Skill level: Intermediate to Advanced