Senator (1896)
Gallery
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Senator with cars on deck
By The Numbers
0
Built
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Sank
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Lives Lost
0
Depth (ft)
 
 
Service History


The Senator's early years were unremarkable. The Senator had sank in the St. Mary's river in 1909 after a collision with the Norman B. Ream. She was severly damaged , but she was refloated and taken to Cleveland for extensive repairs. The Senator was bought and sold many times, finally being purchased by the Nicholson Universal Steamship Company who changed her tonnage and added a water ballast system in 1929.
Final Voyage


"A collision on fog shrouded Lake Michigan sent the freighter Senator to the bottom of the lake with the remains of seven crew members and a cargo of 241 automobiles (some sources reported 268 cars) . The steel boat was rammed amidships by the steamer Marquette off Port Washington, Wis., on the morning of Oct. 31, 1929. The Senator, with Capt. George Kinch at the helm, was steaming to Detroit from Milwaukee and the Marquette, Capt. W.F. Amesbury, was pointed towards Milwaukee with a load of ore from the steel mills at Indiana harbor. The fog was so thick the crews of the boats said they couldn't see one another until they were too close to avoid the crash. Captain Amsbury took criticism for not stopping to help the crew of the Senator after the ship turned on its port side and sank. The freighter went down in about five minutes. It sank so quickly that the crew members didn't have time to launch lifeboats."
Today


The SS Senator lies in nearly 500 feet of water 20 miles northeast of Port Washington. She is setting upright facing in a northeast direction. The pilot house, aft cabins and engineering spaces are likely intact. Due to the depth, further examination of the wreck will be difficult.
 
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