There's almost nothing leisurely about heading out into the open waters of Lake Superior. The largest of the Great Lakes is truly an inland sea with tempestuous waters churning giant waves.

A Virginia man recently had to be rescued in the middle of the northern pond when attempting a Jet Ski trip to Isle Royale. After leaving from Grand Portage, Minnesota (which would be the best place to start if you were actually to attempt such a thing) the boater reported getting lost in a fog bank. He was able to get a cell phone call out to a friend who contacted the Sheriff's Department in Cook County, Minnesota. Quickly the Coast Guard and Michigan State Police were involved. The Twin Cities Pioneer Press relates the efforts to locate the man:

The Sheriff’s Office initially contacted Verizon Wireless to try and track the man’s cellphone signal, but the information was too old to be useful, and Verizon believed the phone had been turned off, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

By 9:15 p.m., however, the Sheriff’s Office received word that the man and his friend were texting and attempting to determine the man’s GPS coordinates.

At 10:01 p.m., the Cook County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the man himself, who said he could hear a ship’s fog horn and that he was sounding his own horn but that the two weren’t connecting.

The dispatcher advised the man to call 911 and stay on the phone as long as possible so that his exact location could be determined.

A few minutes later, the man was able to email an image of his compass to the Sheriff’s Office, and by 10:20 the Sheriff’s Office had relayed his coordinates to the Coast Guard.

The Jet Skier was miles from land - 22 from Isle Royale, 36 from the Minnesota shore and 43 miles from Ontonogan.

Should he have actually made it to Isle Royale, he would have violated the National Park's rules that prohibit personal watercraft on the island.

If his trip had been successful, or had he traveled like everyone else on a tour boat, he could have toasted his arrival to the remote island with a cold one - Isle Royale is famous for its weekly substantial beer delivery during the season.

The lake surrounding the island is famous as well for its shipwrecks. Mainly commercial vessels and pleasurecraft have suffered the fate of the great lake. These shipwrecks, however, were the casualty of war.

LOOK: 20 photos of shipwrecks from WWI and WWII

Stacker compiled research from news sites, wreckage databases, and local diving centers to provide context for a series of striking images of WWI and WWII shipwrecks.

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