For ships in trouble on the long southern coast of Lake Superior, harbors of refuge are few. Munising is one of them. The waters off Munising are sheltered by Grand Island and have been the final destination of many ships seeking safe harbor from the fury of the big lake.
The area stretching from just west of Munising to Au Sable Point and including the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is the home of the Alger Underwater Preserve. Several major shipwrecks lying within recreational diving limits are found inside its boundaries.
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Herman H. Hettler
The Hettler was a wooden steamer launched in 1890. A severe storm forced the Hettler to seek refuge in Munising Harbor on November 23, 1926. She was lost when she slammed into a rock reef. The wreck now rests broken up in 30 to 40 feet of water. On the inner edge of the shoal where the Hettler struck,