On May 7, 1965 Captain Martin Joppich and 34 crew had the Cedarville steaming full speed through fog toward the Mackinac Bridge. Their radar showed the Weissenberg heading toward them, having just cleared the Bridge at 9:38 a.m. When the Weissenberg reported another vessel ahead of them, Captain Joppich reduced speed and frantically began looking through the murk and on radar. Suddenly the mystery ship showed on the radar screen and appeared in the fog, bearing down on them fast.
Despite an evasive turn, the Cedarville was hit on the port side by the Topdalsfjord and begin filling rapidly. Captain Joppich made a last-minute dash for shallow water, but Lake Huron claimed the ship before grounding. When it rolled over and sank, several crew were trapped in the engine room, others died in the frigid Straits. In all 10 lives were lost. This was the second loss of a freighter for the small town of Rogers City; for the Carl Bradley had gone down in Lake Michigan in 1958, with 33 lives lost.
One of Lake Michigan's largest shipwrecks at a length of 588 feet, a steel self loading freighter built in 1927. On May 7 1965 she was running fast in the fog & collided with a Norwegian freighter And capsized in 120 feet of water. Her final resting place is about 3 miles east of the Mackinaw bridge. Very intact & exploration of the interior of her by qualified technical divers is very exciting.
Other names : built as A.F. HARVEY, last name in 1957
Official no. : 226492
Type at loss : propeller, steel, self-unloading bulk freighter
Build info : 1927, Great Lakes Engineering, River Rouge, MI hull #255
Specs : 588x60x32 8575 g 6229n
Date of loss : 1965, May 7
Place of loss : 3 mi E of Mackinac Bridge, Straits
Lake : Huron
Type of loss : collision
Loss of life : 10
Carrying : limestone
Detail : Moving at speed in fog, she collided with the Norwegian freighter TOPDALSFJORD about 9:50 am and sank quickly. German motor vessel WEISSENBURG picked up the survivors. Wreck location: 3.1 mi, 120 deg from S pier of Mackinac Bridge. She was later found to be at fault in the collision. She is a popular dive target.
Built as a bulk freighter, she was converted to a self-unloader at Defoe Shipbuilding, 1957
Drawing of Cedarville on bottom Charles and Jeri Feltner
Milwaukee Dock Location
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