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New website features virtual tours of Indiana shipwrecks

A new website launched on the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website gives visitors a chance to go on a virtual tour of four shipwrecks in Indiana.

The new website, indianashipwrecks.org features the J.D. Marshall, the Muskegon, the Car Ferry #2 and the Material Service Barge.

Each vessel rests under the Indiana waters of Lake Michigan.

The data used to create the virtual 3-D models was gathered using multi-sector sonar scans.

“We hope this information will attract more underwater tourists and get people who don’t dive more interested in Indiana’s fascinating but somewhat unknown maritime history,” said Mike Molnar, manager of the DNR’s Indiana Lake Michigan Coastal Program (LMCP).

Complete information about diving on the shipwrecks, fishing near the site, and the history of the ships is included on the website.

The LMCP and its partners have been working on the preserve project since 2008. The website launch completes the preserve project.

The project required updating information gathered during the 1980s on known and suspected shipwreck sites in Indiana. Molnar said the preserve may be included on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) roster of Marine Protected Areas in the near future.

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