Reviews/Shows & Conferences/

Shipwrecks 97

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On Saturday March 1, 1997, Niagra Divers Association put on another fantastic presentation of their yearly Shipwrecks festival. I was able to attend the first year they held it but last year was unable to. This year I made a point of having the time available. I was not in the least disappointed.
The morning started out with coffee and a well run registration area. After they had most people registered they made a few small introductions, which were short and sweet. Chris Kohl started out the day with a short speech on the Daniel J. Morrell, a history of it's making and shipping life.

Out Of The Blue Productions had a video show on the Morrell as she lies today.A very well presented and crystal clear video really made this a very good show. I hope to see more of their videos in the future. The Morrell is broken in two and the stern and bow are separated by five miles. The story of the sinking is tragic with a great loss of life, of the 29 nine men on board only one survived.

Dennis Hale, who is the one surviver of the Morrell was next on the podium. His speach was haunting to say the least. Not a sound was made during his entire presentation. I think I can safely say there was not a single person there that was not touched deeply by his story. This man survived a horrowing 38 hours in a life raft as frigid air temperatures and even colder water chilled his body. He spoke of many things about that day, and the years to follow. I would like to personally thank him once again for sharing this story with us.

After break we headed back into the auditorium to hear David Gilchrist, and to see a few pictures on the Niagra Pennisula. It was Well put together,and a good job.

Marc Beaudry was up next. I met him three years ago during the first presentation. He has come a long way in his diving ability and skill since then mainly receiving his Tri-mix certification. He put on a presentation regarding "Diving The lakes- A video sampling" . I really can't remember all the dive sites that he had on his video, but an exceptional job putting it all together it made me want to go out and dive the sites I was looking at right away. To purchase this video, contact Niagra Divers Association.

Lunch, well put together as always.

After lunch, the speakers that I actually went to see in the first place were on. Frederick Stonehouse spoke on the Edmund Fitzgerald. I really understood more about the sinking than I knew before. He also brought up a lot of good points that other programs you see on t.v. fail to mention, such as the facts surrounding the rescue efforts that were done that night, and the people who looked for all the missing crew.

Terrence Tysall , President of the Cambrian Foundation was up. He and Mike Zee were the first and possibly the last to touch the Fitzgerald since she sank in 1975. He spoke of the logistics of putting together a dive to 530 feet, and 34 degree temps. He also spoke of the mystery which surrounds the sinking of this ship and how suprised he was at the way the people around the great lakes region have made it into a myth. Interesting speach, for me, considering this is the type of diving I am heading for in the future.

Matt Turchi and Darryl Ertel next did a video show on "A Cold Dark Hart". A video on the Judge Hart, which sank in 1942. They were the first divers on it since she sank, beautiful. The video was crisp and clear as well as well put together. They really showed you what a ship look's like after 40+ years in the cold waters of Lake Superior.

Overall, I was very impressed with the day, and will hopefully attend all the future festivals they put on. As you can see I did not tell you alot about the presentations themselves, you will have to go there to actually experience them. I highly recommend to all divers whether new at the sport, or an experienced tech. diver to attend this show. Niagra Divers Association, I take my hat off to you for another year of good times. Keep up all the good work. If you are interested in the club you can contact them through my links page or their web page address is


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