SS Wisconsin

Kenosha's Famous Shipwreck

S.S. Wisconsin was originally launched in 1881. At the time, she was one of the most lavish and technologically advanced steamers of her day. She was one of the first iron-hulled vessels on the Great Lakes and marked a turning pointing in ship construction.

S.S. Wisconsin underwent several name changes and overhauls during her service. Her original name had been returned to her prior to her sinking on October 27, 1929, the night before the 1929 Wall Street crash. S.S. Wisconsin sunk off from Kenosha, Wisconsin, while making a run to Milwaukee. She was caught in a heavy gale that resulted in her taking on water. All but nine of her crew were able to abandon ship before she sunk. Her captain was retrieved from the water alive but died a short time later from exposure.

S.S. Wisconsin now lies fully upright in 130 of water off Kenosha. Her deck rises about 30 feet off the lake bottom, and she is fully intact. Typically visibility is good on this wreck, making it a favorite for advanced recreational Great Lakes divers.

Maximum depth: 130 feet
Distance to deck: 100 feet
Moorings: Wisconsin historical society buoy should be attached during the local dive season. Buoy is normally attached to the bow.
Skill level: Advanced

Special considerations: Because of the depth an Advanced Open Water certification is required and Deep Specialty is recommended. Great Lakes diving experience is mandatory. This dive site is often selected for technical dive training.