narclogo.jpg (25627 bytes)

hmesqui.JPG (4709 bytes)

[Home][What's New][Products & Services][Feedback][Search]

[Dividing Line Image]mesback211.jpg (12131 bytes)

Event: Grounded December 4, 1989

Ship: 180 foot Coast Guard Cutter

Location: Keystone Bay

Coordinates: 47 23.59 N 87 44.35 W (Yellow buoy line on bow, white buoy line on stern)

uwmes19a.jpg (13176 bytes)Depth: 100 feet on main decks, 120 feet along the keel

Visible Remains: The Mesquite is virtually intact except for the superstructure. A line is in place at the stern that leads to the superstructure.

Story: After retiring from combat duty in the Pacific during WWII, the 180 foot Coast Guard Cutter Mesquite served the Great Lakes as a buoy tender. On December 4, 1989, in the early morning hours, theuwmes18a.jpg (12244 bytes) crew was attempting to retrieve a buoy in 2-4 foot waves off Keweenaw Point. The crew was rushing to beat the notorious winter storms that rage across the lake at that time of year. After the buoy was successfully hoisted aboard, Lt. Comm. John Lynch passed command to Ensign Susan Subocz. While the crew was securing the buoy, the cutter drifted out of position. There were no lookouts posted and navigational fixes were not taken.

At 2:10 a.m., the Mesquite got underway and grounded on the same reef from which the buoy had been taken. At first the damage was slight but the ship was pounding on the rocks and rolling from side to side. An attempt was made at 2:40 a.m. to back off the reef but the engines were vibrating wildly on their mounts. messide211.jpg (10837 bytes)

At 4:05 a.m., orders were piped to prepare to abandon ship. The Mesquite reported to Station Duluth that there were three medical evacuations. One of the crew was suffering an anxiety attack, another was experiencing chest pains and the third had a possible broken arm. These individuals were taken to Portage View Hospital in Hancock and were treated and released.

By 8:30 a.m., the crew had evacuated the Mesquite and the Commanding Officer was the last to depart. Due to bad weather conditions, the Mesquite stayed on the reef throughout the winter and was decommissioned in January of 1990. During the winter, plans were made to sink the Mesquite so she would become part of the proposed Keweenaw Underwater Preserve.

The Mesquite now lies in 120 feet of water off Keystone Bay and is completely intact except for the superstructure which was removed to facilitate lifting her from the reef.

Reprinted with permission from "An Underwater Guide to Lake Superior's Keweenaw Peninsula" by Mark and Kathy Roberts, P.O. Box 332, Houghton, MI  49931

 [Dividing Line Image]

Visit The U.S.C.G.C. Mesquite Page for a pictorial!

For more detailed information on The Mesquite, visit the Keweenaw Underwater Preserve.

[Dividing Line Image]

If you have any pictures or information that you would like to add this page, please contact the webmaster.

[Home][What's New][Products & Services][Feedback][Search]

Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright 1997 Narcosis Corner Divers
Last modified: July 25, 1999