Ric Mixter was awarded the 2009 Award for Historic Interpretation by the Association for Great Lakes Historians for over two decades of maritime history preservation. He has created over 30 documentaries for PBS and has been featured as a shipwreck expert on the History and Discovery Channels. Ric was the underwater cameraman on expeditions to the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1994 and Carl D. Bradley in 1995 and was the first to record TV interviews from survivors connected to the CedarvilleNovadocBradley and James Reed. His underwater library of images includes over 100 shipwrecks.

Ric has also been featured in several books including Fitzgerald’s Storm by Dr. Joe MacInnis, Voices of the Lakes by Steve Harrington, and Wreck of the Carl D. Bradley by Michael Schumacher. Ric’s motivational life story was also profiled in a feature-length documentary by Beacon Media in 2009 called “Anything But Ordinary”. He also tours the Great Lakes region as a motivational speaker at schools and colleges and was accepted as a peer-reviewed story-teller by the Michigan Arts and Humanities Council in 2009.

The Wheelsmen

“The Wheelsmen” is derived from Ric’s new book that chronicles the lives of four men who were involved in famous shipwrecks. It is a first-person account based on television interviews conducted with the men, and it covers Great Lakes history from 1933 to 1966. The lecture includes video clips from these interviews along with historical footage and underwater images.

Ed Kanaby, survivor of the Great Storm of 1913 (featuring video of the Price, Wexford and Regina).

Ray O’Malley, survivor of the USS Escanaba, which sank mysteriously during World War II near Greenland. The Esky had a celebrated career on the lakes, including help in the rescue of the whaleback Cort.

Lloyd Belcher, survivor of the 1940 Armistice Day Storm (the wrecked Novadoc was one of the three ships totally destroyed by the storm). Lloyd was also aboard a Canadian frigate that was nearly sunk by a Nazi bomb.

Leonard Gabrysiak, survivor of the Cedarville. He survived the sinking to be placed in a mental health facility for recovery.

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