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A Collaboration Between Fourth Element and NOAA Creating 3D Tours of Wrecks in Thunder Bay

Home to some of the best preserved and historically significant shipwrecks in the United States, Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary is set to become a world class wreck diving destination.

To promote the region, NOAA has teamed up with Fourth Element, using our newly developed web based technology, to map 7 wrecks in 3D.

Selecting the Wrecks:

Hundreds of ships have met their fate in the waters of Thunder Bay over the years due to its strategic location along shipping lanes on critical trade routes which date back as far as 1600, and because the bay and nearby islands provided shelter for vessels during inclement weather.

NOAA selected 7 individual shipwrecks, chosen for their history, state of preservation and accessibility. These wrecks were then archaeologically mapped by NOAA divers and this data turned into interactive 3D models by Fourth Element for use online. The 3D maps allow you to take a virtual dive around the wreck showing points of interest, wreck history and stunning underwater photography. Choose a wreck on the right to begin exploring...

More About the Project:

The project, which is hosted at involved painstaking hours, not only in photographing and recording the wrecks and the surrounding seabed topography, but also in converting this data into 3D models, before exporting these models into the rich media format on show here. Having spent many months developing the techniques to bring photos, sketches and descriptions together to guide the development of these 3D wreck tours, fourth element were the ideal partner to create accessible web based resources to showcase these stunning wreck sites.

There are few places in the world where wooden shipwrecks are so well preserved, and the wrecks of Thunder Bay sit in relatively easily dived depths, from wooden schooners to steel hulled steamers. It is a wreck diver’s paradise.

Visit for more information.

With thanks to NOAA and the team at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

thunder-bay map noaa marine

Thunder Bay 3D Wrecks

Project Credits

3deep - 3D Shipwreck Mapping, Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, photography - Becky kagan Schott