MICH. (WJMN) – 6,000 shipwrecks are estimated to be lying on the floors of the Great Lakes. Michigan-native Dusty Klifman dives below their surfaces to photograph and share the stories and histories of these many forgotten ships.
“When I moved to the west side of Michigan here in Muskegon, I’m right here on Lake Michigan. So there’s lots of shipwrecks to go see, and I didn’t realize there were so many and there are still ships that are lost,” said Dusty Klifman, creator and manager of Blueyes Below.
Klifman has been a certified diver since he was 13-years-old. His Facebook page, Blueyes Below , has become a full-time hobby; and he does it all by himself.
“As I got more and more equipment, the boats and the sonar, I started going out on my own little adventures to find these wrecks, to show these wrecks. And you know, there’s a lot of people that are interested in that. They live vicariously through me,” said Klifman.
The diver estimates that he has explored about 40 different shipwrecks in just 2020. In early December, Klifman dove his favorite shipwreck that’s located in the Straits of Mackinac.
“The Eber Ward is kind of the star of the show up there. People just love this shipwreck. And it’s sitting at 146-feet deep. Just this big, beautiful bow you can swim all the way through it. It’s a wooden package freighter. It’s just truly remarkable. It was going with a load of corn, April 20th, 1909 and struck ice and sunk within ten minutes.”
Klifman dives all year-round and wouldn’t have it any other way.
“My life, it revolves around shipwrecks. and diving, and the adventure. Going to the islands in Lake Michigan or Lake Huron. It’s a nonstop. It’s exhausting, but it’s what I love to do. When I’m not working my full-time job as a lineman for Consumers Energy, I am out on the boats, I’m working on the boats, I’m diving, I’m thinking about diving. It’s what I’m crazy about.”
You can purchase Klifman’s shipwreck photography here.