Freighter Prins Willem V aka “Willie”
Lake Name: Lake Michigan
Shipwreck Name: Prins Willem V
Vessel Type: Propeller motor vessel, steel, package freight
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Vessel Build Info: 1940, N.V. Scheepswerf en Machinefabreik, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Shipwreck Specs: 258 ft., 1567 t.
Official Number: Netherlands PGWF
Names Other: none
She collided with the towed barge SINCLAIR XII, in tow of the tug SINCLAIR HOUSTON (or SINCLAIR CHICAGO), and sank with a 20×8 foot hole in her side. Her crew of 30 were rescued by the Coast Guard cutter HOLLYHOCK. She was scuttled while building to prevent capture by Nazis, refloated and completed in 1948-9.
Loss Date: 10/14/1954
Loss Place: 3.75 mi E of Milwaukee Harbor mouth
Loss Life: none
Loss Reason: Collision
Vessel Cargo: TVs, general freight
Known as the “Willie” this is one of the most popular wrecks in Milwaukee. She lies intact on its starboard side at about 80ft with penetrations possible for the trained and experienced divers. The top side of the wreck can be reached at about 56ft making it a good beginner wreck diving site. While diving this wreck divers can observe the ship in its entirety including a mast on an angle, pilot house, companion ways, and the skylights into the engine room. There are barrels left behind in the cargo holds from when attempts to raise the ship were made. Her bow has been slowly getting berried into the bottom creating an interesting clay wall around. The stern shows the name of the ship and divers have been keeping it clean from algae bloom, zebra and quagga mussels. One of the propellers and smoke stacks are available for viewing at Jerry’s Guyer Marina on the Milwaukee river. Overall this is a very exiting dive site for a dive or two or many.
Dive Type: Recreational
Depth Deck(ft): 56 ft
Depth Bottom(ft): 90 ft
Depth Deck(m): 16 m
Depth Bottom(m): 27 m