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Thread: Two MN Divers make Lk Michigan History

  1. #1

    Two MN Divers make Lk Michigan History

    Story from my local paper on 2 local Inspiration Classic divers. The actual article has a pretty good picture and link to a video as well. Hopefully the link works :)

    Two Minnesota divers make Lake Michigan history


    Two Minnesota divers make Lake Michigan history
    After two local divers, John Janzen and John Scoles, met the last remaining survivor of a 1950s Lake Michigan shipwreck, they knew they had to dive to the site about 370 feet below the surface.

    In 2004 at a diving and shipwreck show in Minneapolis, Janzen of Champlin and Scoles of Farmington met Frank Mays, who was 26 when the freighter Carl D. Bradley sank on Nov. 18, 1958.

    "For me, it was meeting Frank that really was the inspiration," Janzen said.

    This August, Scoles and Janzen retrieved the ship's original bell and replaced it with an honorary bell engraved with the names of the 33 crew members who died. Most of the sailors were from the ship's home port of Rogers City, Mich.

    "The main reason we did it is for the family members, hoping it would bring some comfort and closure," Scoles said.
    Mays, who now lives in Florida, was one of only two people who survived by clinging to a lifeboat during the storm that claimed the ship. He has gone out on Lake Michigan with Scoles and Janzen on several of their dives, including the most recent one when they retrieved the bell.

    "I hadn't seen the bell in 49 years and all of a sudden, it pops up," Mays said. "I thought it would never happen after the Bradley went down."

    For the divers, exploring the Carl D. Bradley wreck is not a responsibility they take lightly. Few people have been to the site because of its depth. After seeking permission from Michigan government agencies, Scoles and Janzen became the first divers to reach the stern of the wreck.

    "It's easily the most rewarding thing I've done and the most stressful because there were a lot of things that could have gone wrong," Janzen said. "I didn't want to lose the bell because that would be blasphemous. If you drop it, it's gone."

    The two divers planned how to retrieve the bell for several months, including creating their own portable battery system to operate the underwater torch needed to detach the bell and doing several practice dives in Wisconsin's Wazee Lake. They did separate dives to remove the original bell and attach the replacement bell.

    "The bell is the soul of the ship," Scoles said. "You can't just take the real bell off the ship and not put anything back."
    The original bell was given to the Great Lakes Lore Maritime Museum in Rogers City, where the director, David Erickson, restored it and will ring it for the first time at the 50th anniversary of the sinking next year. He said some family members of the Bradley crew still live in Rogers City.

    "It's home is here in Rogers City where all the families of the crew members live," he said. "It's 50 years ago, but there are still a lot of them who lost fathers and brothers. It's just like it happened yesterday."

    Janzen and Scoles agreed to dive mainly around the outside of the 600-plus-foot ship and enter only a few designated rooms -- out of respect for the crew members' remains likely still in the wreck.
    Mays said he is glad other people are interested in preserving the history of the ship. He wrote a book, "If We Make It 'Til Daylight," that documents his experience the night of the shipwreck.

    "What happened that night, every detail, is burned in my mind," he said. "I'll never forget it."

    He said he was glad that Janzen and Scoles were able to bring up the bell so the crew members' families could have a memorial to the lost sailors.
    "It's the ship that time forgot, and it's about time it's brought back into being," Mays said.
    Lora Pabst • 612-673-4628
    Lora Pabst • lpabst@startribune.com

  2. #2
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    Re: Two MN Divers make Lk Michigan History

    The two divers planned how to retrieve the bell for several months, including creating their own portable battery system to operate the underwater torch needed to detach the bell and doing several practice dives in Wisconsin's Wazee Lake. They did separate dives to remove the original bell and attach the replacement bell.

    Nice vid ,,,

    would like to know more about the portable cutting set up,,,,
    broco / with battery back.

    I know you can get strik pots to light the broco torch ,,,

    more please ,,,, also i cant look at the vid now ,, one look only then lock out ,,,
    Last edited by Gobfish1; 21st November 2007 at 20:01.

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    Re: Two MN Divers make Lk Michigan History

    Here the link for the orginal Article with picture

    Andreas

    Two Minnesota divers make Lake Michigan history

    The website is very stubborn. Google helped. There is also a video clip.
    Seems the Trib does not like to share reading with its subscribers.
    Last edited by aknelson; 21st November 2007 at 22:02.

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    Re: Two MN Divers make Lk Michigan History

    Um - if there were only two divers who shot the video?

  5. #5

    Re: Two MN Divers make Lake Michigan History

    Not sure what type of torch was used, neither of the divers are on the forum but maybe some of the others on the trip could chime in.

    *Alan Williams shot the video

    Also because I forgot in the first post, Congratulations to the divers and all those involved

    Russ
    Last edited by Russ; 21st November 2007 at 20:51.

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    Re: Two MN Divers make Lk Michigan History

    Geez, wish we had viz like that!

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    Re: Two MN Divers make Lake Michigan History

    Quote Originally Posted by Russ  View Original Post
    Not sure what type of torch was used, neither of the divers are on the forum but maybe some of the others on the trip could chime in.

    *Alan Williams shot the video

    Also because I forgot in the first post, Congratulations to the divers and all those involved

    Russ

    yes 2nd that

    Congratulations to the divers and all those involved

    ps
    thanks for the reply ,,,

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    Re: Two MN Divers make Lk Michigan History

    I grew up in Rogers City and had relatives die on the Bradley, my grandfather was supposed to be on it when it went down and have mixed feelings about the bell retrieval. Many people in town will be glad to have it at the museum though. I will still go down and see her some day in person for sure and it will be kinda cool to see the memorial bell there. Great feat for the divers though, nice job.

  9. #9
    RBW Member John J is infamous around these parts John J is infamous around these parts John J is infamous around these parts John J's Avatar
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    Re: Two MN Divers make Lk Michigan History

    Quote Originally Posted by dteubner  View Original Post
    Um - if there were only two divers who shot the video?
    I rarely post to any of the diving forums, but I have to express my thanks to the people that helped us.

    A lot of detail was cut from the article and unfortunately, the names of others that were integral to this work were not published. I have no control over the writing or editing of any newspaper.

    The following people were critical to our success.

    Alan Williams-underwater videography and assistance with underwater operations. Alan is an amazing diver. I have learned a great deal by just watching him dive and his incredible ability with a camera is self evident. Alan did the same dives as us but without a suit heater, so he's one tuff dude if you ask me.

    Greg Such-Charter Captain and surface support/shallow diving support. Greg worked harder than all of us shuttling equipment around, dealing with lines, stage bottles, the boat and getting knocked around by the waves while we were diving.

    Doug Bell-Shallow/surface support, shuttling equipment back and fourth. Doug did some heroic diving in high waves and strong current to get the mooring attached to the boat and get equpiment in place on the line for us. John and I were amazed by his perfomance in the rotten conditions we sometimes had and if he hadn't been there, I don't think we could have done it.

    Will Phillips-Shallow/surface support, shuttling equipment back and fourth. Will is also a Physician, which was nice to have on board in case we needed him for that. Will really worked hard and was critical to getting the memorial bell in place.

    Zach Demorest-Diver from 2006 where bell removal planning and initial work began. Zach is a good friend and a rock solid diver. He is the diver swimming past the Bradley's huge rudder in the 2006 video.

    Regardless of what the newspaper says, this was a team effort.
    Last edited by John J; 21st November 2007 at 21:28.

  10. #10
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    Re: Two MN Divers make Lk Michigan History

    welcome John J

    Can you tell me more about your underwater cutting set up ,,

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