Reliable (1880)
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By The Numbers
Lives Lost
Depth (ft)
Service History

The Reliable was originally built as a scow schooner in 1880 at Detroit by Thomas Davis, her original owner. Her official registry number was 110435 and she was rated B1 1/2 by R.L. Polk in 1881. For most of her life, Detroit was her home port, but in 1910 she was moved to Lake Michigan and used as a sandsucker. She had been rebuilt a few times and in 1896 a steam power plant was added. In 1910 she was brought to Milwaukee to become a sandsucker sucking sand from the bottom of Lake Michigan for commercial use.
Final Voyage

"The Reliable ... was what was known as a sandsucker... and had been plying between here and South Milwaukee for sand for several years. Saturday morning (August 16, 1913) the usual trip was made and at 2:30 in the afternoon the boat was almost loaded when the storm came up. Not wishing to take the risk of beaching the boat, Capt. Krumer started north about two miles from the shoreline. When a mile or two from South Milwaukee, a leak was discovered in the hold. The crew was set at it and pumped for two hours before Capt. Krumer decided that it would be necessary to lighten the boat by getting rid of some of the cargo. Then the crew turned its efforts to dumping sand overboard. At about 6 o'clock the Chicago bound for Milwaukee and passed the Reliable a few hundred yards out... Five minutes later...(Capt. McGarity) ... heard the whistles of the Reliable calling for help. The Chicago immediately put about. As the Goodrich steamer neared the scene the crew of the sinking vessel was seen putting off in the lifeboat..." Milwaukee Sentinel 8/17/1913

The three man crew, Captain Krumer, and his two sons were saved by the steamer Chicago as the Reliable started to list and sink while her boilers blew from the flooding water. Captain Krumer had stayed on board the Reliable even as she was sinking, but was rescued, in an injured state, from the water after the explosion.

Despite her well-known foundering point and close proximity, two and one-half miles, to Milwaukee Harbor, the Reliable's remains have not been located.

Possibly found by Jerry Guyer just east of the break wall between the main gap and south gap.
Confirmed Location     Unconfirmed location
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Shipwrecks (84)
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