The KIOWA, a grain carrying 251-foot steel bulk freight steamer was launched in 1920 at Wyandotte, Michigan and was hit by a gale on November 30. 1929.
The shifting of her unstable cargo of flax seed made her unmanageable, and she went on an Au Sable reef, several miles west of Grand Marais, Michigan. Five lives were lost, but the other 16 crewmen were saved in a courageous rescue effort. The Kiowa is located at 20-40 foot depths. On a clear day the huge sections of hull are easily visible from the surface. The stern of the wreck lies on its port side.
Here the diver can see the steamer’s steering quadrant and emergency steering gear. A short distance forward, an enclosed ladderway leads down toward the propeller shaft tunnel.
At the forward end of the tunnel, the propeller shaft and its massive thrust bearing can be seen.