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Couple Dive Into Marriage

May 25, 1992

MUNISING, Mich. (AP) _ The bride wore white, the groom wore black. Both wore face masks and tanks of air on their backs.

So did the 20 guests at their wedding Sunday, held 80 feet beneath the surface of Lake Superior on the deck of a sunken steamship.

Charter boat captain Pete Lindquist read the ceremony, then Kerry Bruce Whipple and Kerry Sue Krone exchanged vows with the aid of underwater communications equipment.

But with the masks, the traditional kissing of the bride was out of the question. ″So we embraced and rubbed regulators,″ said Whipple, 29, a Lansing scuba diving instructor.

He met Krone, a Lansing travel agent, about eight years ago. They made their first scuba dive seven years ago - on the same site where they took the wedding plunge Sunday.

The 223-foot steam barge Smith Moore, built in 1880, sank after colliding with another barge in 1889.

On Sunday, three boats headed out from Munising to the wreck. Lindquist’s boat carried the wedding party, another had the diving guests, and a third had non-divers - including Whipple’s and Krone’s parents - who were linked by microphones to the ceremony below.

Whipple wore a custom-made ″dry-suit″ - a diving outfit that enables the diver to stay dry - designed to look like a tuxedo. ″It had a bow tie and a flower on the lapel,″ he said.

The 24-year-old bride wore a dry suit with a white overlay and had a bouquet of flowers attached to her wrist.

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