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Michigan Shipwreck Group Says It Found Historic Schooner

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GRAND HAVEN (WWJ/AP) - A shipwreck-exploring group has discovered what it believes is a 19th century vessel off the coast of Grand Haven.

The ship was found in 350 feet of water and may be the St. Peter, a ship that sank in 1874 while delivering a load of wheat from Chicago to Buffalo, N.Y., the Grand Rapids Press reported.

The discovery of the 90-foot, two-masted schooner was made during a dive in October, but officials with the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association announced the find on Friday.

A video taken by the dive team shows the ship is intact, with a cargo that may be grain and a unique scroll bow that typically only is found on schooners built in the early to mid-19th century.

Members of MSRA plan to talk about the exploration during a presentation at the Knickerbocker Theatre in Holland on April 21.

According to the crew, the St. Peter sank about 35 miles off the Milwaukee coast in Lake Michigan. All of them survived.

Craig Rich, another MSRA director, told the Grand Rapids Press that the ship’s location near Grand Haven would be unusual.

“If this is the wreck of the St. Peter, then it drifted east for some time, coming to rest on the opposite side of Lake Michigan, significantly father east than the crew reported,” he said.

MSRA members plan to have a sample of the cargo analyzed this year. If it is wheat, it bolsters the supposition the ship is the St. Peter.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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