Ric Mixter became interested in shipwrecks when one occurred near his home.  Working as a videographer for WNEM TV5, he was assigned to cover the Jupiter  explosion in Bay City.  He was soon certified for SCUBA diving and has been sharing maritime stories with millions of viewers ever since.

Today he runs his own production company, Airworthy Productions.  He has created over 30 programs that have aired on PBS, The Outdoor Channel and the Vision Network.  He was also one of the primary on-camera experts on a recent History Channel documentary on the 1913 Storm, and a consultant and on-camera expert for a Discovery Channel program on Great Lakes shipwrecks.  Mixter leads the pack when it comes to telling the world about the incredible resources we have underneath the Great Lakes, and he says his greatest compliment is when people tell him they started diving because of his documentaries.

Cutter Rescues

“Cutter Rescues”, is a profile of the most famous Coast Guard cutters to ever serve on the Great Lakes.  Two of these vessels are now floating museums, and two others rest on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

“Cutter Rescues” not only features the construction, launch and first rescues of the Escanaba, but also features unique interviews with men who were saved by this heroic cutter.  This includes the crew of the whaleback “Cort”, which sank at Muskegon in 1934. 

Extremely rare footage of Muskegon’s most famous shipwreck and film of the Escanaba in the 1930’s and 40’s make this a one-of-a-kind production. “Cutter Rescues” also has an interview with a crewman from the “Dorchester”, who was plucked out of the freezing Atlantic after a German submarine torpedoed his ship. 

The Escanaba became famous for bringing over 130 GI’s to shore after the tragic sinking in June of 1943.  The story turns even more tragic when the Esky herself explodes and sinks off Greenland with just two survivors.  “Cutter Rescues” is the first documentary to tell the story of what happened to the two sailors. 

The program also highlights the incredible histories of the recently retired “Mackinaw” and “Sundew” as well, featuring interviews with crew, video aboard the ships as they break ice on the lakes and stories from the people they The program also dives to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean to show another famous Great Lakes cutter, the Hollyhock.

The rescue of two sailors from Lake Michigan’s largest shipwreck is also featured, as it was the Sundew and Hollyhock that went out into the storm to look for the Carl D Bradley’s crew.  The wreck of the Prins Willem is also featured, as well as rare news footage of the crews of the Cedarville and Nordmeer, both lost in the 1960’s on Lake Huron.

“Cutter Rescues” was written, produced and hosted by Ric Mixter. He has dove nearly 100 shipwrecks in the Great Lakes including the Edmund Fitzgerald.  He has created over 30 programs on Great Lakes topics for PBS and plans to release a 30 minute version of the hour long documentary “Cutter Rescues” to PBS next year.

The Making of Deep Six

When DEEP SIX was released in 1998, it instantly became the standard for Great Lakes maritime documentaries.  It was the first television show to tell the story of the Cedarville, lost with 10 lives after a foggy collision in the straits of Mackinac.  It was also the first to tell the story of Lake Michigan’s largest shipwreck, the Carl D. Bradley.

DEEP SIX was special because of it’s amazing interviews with shipwreck survivors. No other maritime documentary contained as many eyewitness stories as this unique program.  With highlights on the six largest ships ever lost on the inland seas, DEEP SIX explored famous ships like the Edmund Fitzgerald, and lesser known wrecks like the William C. Moreland.

The Making of Deep Six is a program put on by the documentary’s main cameraman, writer and producer.  Ric Mixter takes the audience behind the scenes to see how the program was put together, including building a liferaft for many of the show’s key sequences.  Ric also shares highlights of expeditions to the Fitzgerald, Moreland, Cedarville and Bradley.

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