David is the Senior Principal Engineer for ZIN Technologies, Inc., specializing in space flight hardware for NASA Glenn Research Center and has more than twenty years of experience designing, building, testing, and operating fluids and combustion experiments on the Space Shuttle, sounding rockets, and International Space Station. He began his diving career in 1995 and currently holds dive certifications up through trimix and AIMA/NAS Level 3. David began searching for and finding shipwrecks off his boat Sea Dragon in 2001 when he founded the Cleveland Underwater Explorers (CLUE). David graduated Purdue University in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering. He is also a graduate of Flinders University and holds several archaeology degrees including a Masters of Maritime Archaeology. David is on the Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA) and is a member of the Ohio Archaeological Council (OAC), the Association of Great Lakes Maritime History (AGLMH), the Great Lakes Historical Society (GLHS), and the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA). He is also a fellow in the Explorers Club.
“The Sultan: Cleveland’s Grindstone Wreck”
The Sultan, a two-masted brigantine built in 1848, was loaded with a cargo of 200 tons of grindstones when it left Cleveland, OH, in stormy weather on September 24, 1864. Its young captain had sailed out into the storm against the advice of more experienced lake mariners, and due to the large seas the ship struck bottom on the bar of the Cuyahoga River as it left the safety of the port. The ship soon began leaking and nearly capsized as it sank suddenly off east Cleveland, leaving only one survivor after a harrowing night of clinging to the masts. In 2011 the Cleveland Underwater Explorers (CLUE), in conjunction with shipwreck searcher Rob Ruetschle, located this new shipwreck in Lake Erie. It is a beautifully preserved early sailing vessel with a unique and unusual cargo of grindstones scattered on its deck.