The headline in the Milwaukee Sentinel the day after the Prins Willem V sinking. (Reproduced with permission of the Journal-Sentinel, from October 15, 1954; permission conveyed through Copyright Clearance Center, Inc.)
Each station has its own special characteristics and this station is no exception. The research vessel, Neeskay, sets a course to longitude -87° 48.59' by latitude 43° 01.35' and you have arrived at Station #1.
The Milwaukee city skyline is four miles to the west of this site. To the north, east, and south lies only open water. You look around and there is only water and then you spy a white buoy with a blue painted stripe around it bobbing in the waves. This begs the question: "What lies beneath Station #1?"
To find out what’s under the water you must check a newspaper article and then go back in time to a dark night on October 13, 1954.
The captain and crew were unaware that an approaching ship, the Sinclair was moving in the darkness toward them going north. The Prins Willem V. moved 1.7 miles further east of the Milwaukee breakwater lighthouse out into the night and that is when the Sinclair struck the Prins, putting a 20 foot hole in the starboard side of her.
What is interesting for today’s researchers is that the shipwreck that lies beneath Station #1 represents a specific moment in history. This characteristic allows them to learn much about specific past events and the particular time period that preceded the vessel’s sinking so they can make informed decisions about their future work..Now that she lies on her port side on the bottom of the lake it begs the next question: "Does the form and function of the Prins Willem V change now that she is beneath the water?"
- Form: Prins Willem V was 258 feet long and weighed 2800 ton. She was a freighter and had a wide open hold where her cargo would be placed.
- Function: The Prins Willem’s function was to move cars and cargo from one part of Lake Michigan to another.
In order to answer this question you need to do a Site Plan to examine the likelihood of carrying out a research project that includes a shipwreck at Station #1. It’s time for you to examine Station #1 and experience how to make a plan.
The Prins Willem V. is lost in Lake Michigan four miles from Milwaukee after being struck by the freighter, Sinclair. Where is she located and what is she like now?
You and your team must mount an expedition to locate and examine the vessel to learn more. It’s up to you and your team to use sonar to map the location, collect data and create a detailed drawing of the wreck called a “site plan”. The researchers need this to determine the changes that have taken place over time and how they relate it to their present work.