Outside of diving, Andy Donato is an Electrical Engineer, currently working for Detroit Edison at their St. Clair Power Plant. Andy holds a U.S. Coast Guard Captain license and spends summer weekends running dive charters out of Lake Huron thumb area ports. Andy has been diving the Great Lakes for over 30 years and has been a trimix diver for the last four years. Andy’s passion for researching and documenting Great Lakes shipwrecks has kept him involved in many multimedia presentations across the years, throughout the Great Lakes region.
Andy Donato and Randall McDonald first paired up four years ago for the video documentation and presentation of Minnedosa; Canada’s largest sailing schooner, built in Kingston, Ontario. Since then, their work has centered on diving and researching a victim of the Great Storm of 1913, the Steamer John A. McGean.
Randall McDonald has been diving for 10 years, the last 6 as a trimix diver. He has been to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, the Caribbean Sea and the caves of Florida and Mexico, but his favorite diving is in the Great Lakes. He took up video 7 years ago so he could dive a wreck several times in only one dive by watching the video. About 4 years ago he and Andy Donato decided to put together some programs about wrecks in the Great Lakes from a historical perspective.
John A. McGean
The McGean was one of many ships lost in the great storm of 1913. The McGean, along with all its crew of 28 men, sank within sight of the Harbor Beach Michigan lighthouse. The McGean was upbound from Ohio with a load of coal heading for Lake Superior when it ran into the second storm to cross the lake in 2 days.
The McGean was built for the coal trade which was flourishing along the lakes. Coal from the mines in Ohio and Pennsylvania was used to supply industry and transportation needs across North America. Andy & Randall will cover the history of the McGean and offer some theories about what caused a vessel, modern for its day, to sink.