April 1st, 2022 Update – We are sorry to announce that David Trotter will be unable to present

David Trotter has been involved in Great Lakes shipwreck searching, diving, exploration, and documenting new discoveries for 35+ Years.

In solving “History’s Mysteries” he has made significant contributions to the history of our Great Lakes and provided new exploration opportunities for sport and technical divers to enjoy.

His Discoveries have been featured on the Discovery Channel, PBS, NBC, and in The New York Times, Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, “Wreck Diver”, “Immersed”, “Canadian Diver” and “Lakeland Boating”.

David’s articles on Great Lakes shipwrecks have been published in historical journals and national scuba diving publications.

He has searched and discovered shipwrecks in all the Great Lakes (except Lake Ontario). In a unique odyssey, the 15 years of dedicated effort to discover the largest schooner built in Canada (the 250’ Minnedosa) has now resulted in surveying over 2,000 square miles of Lake Huron. This has been a one of a kind adventure with 90 new sites found; including Airplanes, the steamer Daniel J Morrell, the steamer W. C. Franz, the Schooner Marion Egan, the Hydrus and the steamer Goliath (naming just a few of the discoveries). The Goliath was designed by John Ericsson in 1846, fifteen years before he designed the ironclad “Monitor” of American Civil War fame.

David believes the Great Lakes are “Our Treasure” to be enjoyed by all who love our “Inland Seas” and our maritime history. It is the shipwreck hunter discovering and the diver exploring a shipwreck (in 20’ or 300’ of Water) that has that unique experience of traveling back into time.

Our World Underwater (Chicago) honored David’s contribution to diving and Great Lakes maritime history by presenting him with the special 2010 OWU Achievement Award. In 2016, the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History (AGLMH) honored David with the prestigious C. Patrick Labadie Award For Historic Preservation.

Web Site: www.shipwreck1.com

Two Brothers, Two Ships, Two Shipwrecks

The story of the discovery and exploration of the 170′ steamer Water Witch spans 20+ years of search effort to learn what happened to this one of a kind, unique vessel.  The Watch Witch’s engine was installed so it performed transversely from beam to beam (side to side) rather than longitudinally (bow to stern).  She was reported to be the fastest vessel on the Great Lakes.  Built in 1862, she was lost with all hands in the fall of 1863 while under the command of Captain George H Ryder.  Captain Redmond Ryder (brother) searched in vain for the missing Water Witch.

Ironically, the 167′ Steamer City of Detroit, while under the command of Redmond Ryder (brother of George Ryder), was lost with all hands in the same location in Lake Huron 10 years later.  Found in 1998 by the URA team, the City of Detroit discovery drove the desire to pursue the missing Water Witch. What is it about the most dangerous area in the Great Lakes (Saginaw Bay) that causes the loss of these vessels; two steamers lost with all hands, two Captains (brothers) perished, and two mysteries unsolved………….until now.

Share the excitement and adventure as we descend below the waves to learn what happened to these vessels, now frozen in Great Lakes history.

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