Mackinaw City, MI Freighter CEDARVILLE Collision, May 1965

Cedarville Straits of Mackinac 5-6-1965.jpg




Mackinaw City (AP) -- Boats and planes continued today to look for more survivors of Friday's freighter collision, but rescue workers believed that the seven seamen still missing had perished in the frigid waters of the Straits of Mackinac.
Three men were known dead as a result of the mishap in the fog-shrouded straits, the narrow stretch of water which separates Michigan's two peninsulas.
"No one could survive the cold water this long," said Dr. Nicholas Lentini, chief of surgery at Cheboygan Community Hospital where five injured men were treated.
All the victims were members of the 35-man crew of the U.S. Steel Corp.'s 588-foot CEDARVILLE, a limestone carrier.
An immediate Coast Guard inquiry was ordered. It was called for today at Sault Ste. Marie.
The CEDARVILLE and the 424-foot Norwegian freighter Topdalsfjord collided in thick fog four miles east of here.
Ripped in her port side, the CEDARVILLE tried to make a dash for shallow water beaching but sank
within 24 minutes.
Survivors told of clinging to life rafts in ice-cold water.
"I'm incredibly lucky," said ANTHONY W. ROMYS, 49, a Great Lakes seaman for nearly 20 years.
ROMYS said he was asleep on an upper deck of the Cedarville and, awakened by an alarm bell, leaped into a lifeboat.
The water temperature was reported in the low 40's.
The collision brought tragedy for a second time within seven years to the Lake Huron port town of Rogers City, Mich.
The freighter Carl D. Bradley, a sister ship of the Cedarville, broke in half in a furious Lake Michigan storm and lost all but two of her 35-man crew Nov. 19, 1958. Most were Rogers City men.
The Cedarville's three dead were wheelsman STANLEY HASKE, 36, father of five children;
EDMUND H. JUNGMAN, 51, deck watchman, father of three, and REINHOLD S. RADTKE, 48, third engineer, father of seven.
Both HASKE and RADTKE lived in Rogers City, JUNGMAN lived in the inland town of Frederic.
One of the missing men lived in Petersburg, while the other six were from Rogers City.
The Bradley Transportation Co. of Rogers City operated both the Cedarville and the Bradley for U.S. Steel.
The Cedarville, bound for Gary, Ind., with a limestone cargo, and the Topdalsfjord, heading for Port Arthur, Ont., for a grain shipment, smashed together at 9:55 a.m.
Fog was so thick that visibility was reported at barely 50 feet. The straits were reported calm at the time.
The Cedarville's plunge to the bottom of 80 or 90 feet of water came quickly.

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Mackinaw City, MI Freighter CEDARVILLE Collision, May 1965

This ship is upside down and awesome wreak to dive on. I have drove on her several times. The port gash runs from several feet below deck line to curve in bottom. The pilot house roof is about 115 feet depth. The pilot house is not crushed as the ship is supported by the self unloader structure.
The ship is full of limestone. 'Dumb' divers are illegally removing some of the hatch cover wing nuts. If they continue someone will be the last person to do so as the load will fall on to them.