2019 Presenters

Becky Kagan Schott “Truk Lagoon”

Truk Lagoon is known as one of the wreck diving destinations on the Planet. During WWII it was Japan’s main base in the South Pacific. In February 1944 American forces attacked for 3 days sinking 12 warships, 32 merchant ships and 275 aircraft. It’s considered the biggest underwater shipwreck graveyard in the world and a bucket list destination for any wreck diver or photographer.

Bob McGreevy “Walk in the Water”

The Steamboat, the story of the Walk in the Water, the first steam powered vessel on the upper Great lakes. This year is the 200 th anniversary of the Walk in the Waters arrival at Detroit. The Walk in the Water was also the first steamboat to sink in a November storm. What were the forces behind the development and building of this amazing ship and how did this single voyage change everything on the Great lakes? All these questions, and more, will be answered in the presentation about this pioneer steamboat

Jim & Pat Stayer “The Amazing Sunken WWII Planes North PNG’s”

The north side of Papau New Guinea was the location of some of the fiercest battles of the South Pacific. Join Jim and Pat Stayer as they dive 6 different WWII plane wrecks. The program highlights a couple of American B-25s with their incredible stories; one in the jungle and one in crocodile infested waters. They dove on Japanese Petes, a Zero, and a Kate. The program also includes an Australia’s Catalina underwater and Ventura on land. All these planes are in amazing shape.

Tony Gamer “Ice Seals the Fate of the Eber Ward in Ten Minutes.”

The Wheeler Company built Eber Ward in 1888 in Bay City, Michigan. On her maiden voyage of the year, in the days before the sinking she left Chicago, she stopped in Milwaukee to pick up 55,000 bushels of corn, bound for Port Huron. As the Ward past through the Straits of Mackinaw on a calm weather day, at a distance of five to six miles West of Mackinaw city, at nine in the morning there was a loud crackling noise when she hit an ice floe with her bow and sank in 10 minutes carrying five of the crew members to their death.  

Kevin Magee “The Argo”

The “Argo” is the 1937 fuel barge Tom Kowalczk found in 2015 in Lake Erie’s western basin that made a lot of international news since it was rated by NOAA as the Great Lakes’ worst environmental threat but no one knew exactly where the barge was.  When it was found, we also discovered it was leaking, prompting an immediate Coast Guard response to pump out the remaining 100,000 gal. of benzol and 100,000 gal. of crude light oil.  They did, and the wreck is now safe and open to the public.  It is actually a pretty cool wreck dive

Rich Synowiec “Shipwreck Diving in the 21st Century: How technology has changed the way we dive shipwrecks”

Technology in the 21st century has changed the way we live our lives. Communications, internet, medical advances have all reached points unheard of just 10 years ago.  Just like in other fields,  technological advances have been occurring in scuba diving that has changed the way we shipwreck dive.  Dive computers, Rebreathers, Sonar imaging systems, photographic systems, lighting, suit heaters, drysuit systems and even drysuit undergarments all have advanced at an astonishing pace.   Join Rich Synowiec, a longtime shipwreck diver and Great Lakes enthusiast as he talks about how technology in the 21st century has changed how we dive, image and explore shipwrecks.