Millions of television viewers recognize Ric Mixter as a shipwreck researcher, diving over 100 shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, including the Edmund Fitzgerald. He has produced over 30 programs for PBS and the Outdoor Channel, and appeared as a shipwreck expert on the History and Discovery Channels. He leads the pack when it comes to sharing our unique underwater resources with the general public, and thousands of dive show patrons and countless school kids know him as the energetic story teller who uses video like no other presenter can.
Ric served as SCUBA cameraman on underwater expeditions to the Great Lakes largest shipwrecks, the Edmund Fitzgerald and Carl D. Bradley. He has interviewed dozens of shipwreck survivors over the past 15 years, including two from the 1913 Storm, two from the 1940 Armistice Day Storm and survivors from the largest shipwrecks in Lakes Michigan, Huron and Erie. Today he runs his own production company, Airworthy Productions. He’s been Emmy nominated and has taken several awards including the Addy, Aurora, Michigan Association of Broadcasters Best Use of Medium, AP, UPI and was the 2007 Vescio award winner for a video on mental health advocacy. With over 20 years of stories on historical preservation, Ric was awarded the 2009 Award for Historic Interpretation by the Association for Great Lakes Maritime Historians. In 2011 he was elected to their board of directors.
Ric is also a pilot- flying not only single engine planes, but also has flight time in several military jets. These include the US Air Force’s Thunderbird F-16 Falcon, and over 100 hours of camera work in the B-52 Stratofortress. He’s flown in the Goodyear Blimp and countless biplanes and aerobatic aircraft and has also jumped several times from over 12,000 feet as a skydiver. Ric is also adept at filming from helicopters, from flying over the jungles of Honduras with the Army, to being lowered in a rescue basket into Lake Huron by the Coast Guard.
Mixter 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. by Michael Schumacher. His motivational 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 Michigan Arts and Humanities touring story-teller in 2009. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association.
Ric has presented at our Shipwrecks Symposium in 2004, 2006 and again in 2010. This year, we are very pleased to have him as our Master of Ceremonies. Ric will also draw on his unique story-telling gifts to intersperse and showcase snippets of his favourite shipwreck stories throughout the day.