Gary Gentile (Philadelphia, PA), in his first speaking engagement in Canada, gave a slide presentation on the 1994 Lusitania Expedition. Steve Blasco (Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Nova Scotia), chief scientist involved with the IMAX filming of the Titanic, outlined the unique challenges of the project. Reg Creighton (Vancouver, B.C.), National Director of IANTD Canada, presented the Transpac ‘95 Expedition of the Canadian Deep Wrecking Crew, the first fully-sponsored group of its kind in Canada. Cris Kohl (Chatham, Ontario), popular author and speaker, opened and closed the show with Dive Ontario Two and Shipwreck Tales: The St. Clair River. Dan Lindsay (Seaview Imaging, Brantford, Ontario) premiered a video on Tobermory, which explored the attractions above and below water of that mecca for divers. Niagara Divers' member Marc Beaudry (Maple, Ontario), also premiered a video on the Frontenac, a newly-discovered steam tug which sank off Kingston, Ontario in 1929.
A hot lunch and refreshments, along with door prizes donated by sponsors Ed's Pro Dive of St. Catharines and IANTD Canada, were some of the extras enjoyed by attendees. Speakers freely mingled and were available for discussion, book signing and video sales throughout the day and into the evening.
Of all the victims of World War One German U-boat warfare, the Lusitania is the most well-known. The ship sank in only eighteen minutes after the U-20 fired a single torpedo into the British liner's hull. Nearly 1,200 people lost their lives, of which more than 100 were American, arousing American wrath over Germany's policy of unrestricted U-boat Warfare.
In June 1994, Gary was part of the Lusitania Expedition. Over a ten day period the dive team,consisting of eight Brits and four Americans, conducted 120 dives in depths of up to 300 feet without incident. Each diver carried five tanks: back mounted twin tanks containing bottom mix, two side-slung bottles containing decompression gases, and a bottle of argon for suit inflation.
Gary will present underwater slides, which show the wreck
as it exists today, broken and sagging. Portholes lie scattered about
the hull and seabed. The remains of the wheelhouse, which slid off the
hull as the superstructure collapsed throughout the years, lies exposed
on the rocky bottom. Clearly visible among the debris are the telegraphs
and helm station. He will also discuss the various gas mixes used, decompression
procedures, boat access, and all the phases of preparation for what
was a complex and highly technical dive operation, and which was conducted
in a remote corner of Ireland, where all expedition gases and equipment
had to be delivered. For those interested in the state-of- the-art of
technical diving today, this presentation is an eye opener.
Marc Beaudry has been diving since 1976 and holds ratings of Divemaster,
Full Cave and Trimix. His passion for underwater video photography
has taken him to locations in the Caribbean, Mexican cenotes, Florida fresh
water caves and Great Lakes wrecks. Marc has documented the Frontenac in
her still virgin state: intact hull and deck, cabin and wheelhouse collapsed
off the port side and upright mast. Plates, bottles, compass, bell,
wheel, anchors and running lights are still laying on the deck, with
much still to be discovered. Marc's video presentation will be of
our second day of diving.
Steve Blasco received his Honours Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Engineering Geophysics from Queen s University, Kingston, Ontario and for the past 18 years has been employed as a marine engineering geophysicist with the Geological Survey of Canada, at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
His research focuses on marine environmental and engineering geology studies. Seafloor and lakebed geological investigations are related to offshore oil and gas exploration in the Canadian Arctic and environmental problems in the Arctic and Great Lakes, and has involved the use of Canadian unmanned and manned submersibles. His research has taken him to the Beaufort Sea, High Arctic, Lancaster Sound, the Caribbean, Georgian Bay and even the North Pole.
In 1987, Mr. Blasco received the distinguished merit award from the
Government of Canada for leadership in conducting geological and engineering
investigations in the Beaufort Sea.
The wreck is being dove by the Canadian Deep Wrecking Crew in the hopes of promoting it to the public and promoting technical diving in Canada. The Canadian Deep Wrecking Crew is sponsored by IANTD Canada, Zodiac Watches, Abysmal Diving Inc., AquaCorps Journal and Orcatron Communications.
Reg Creighton is the current National Director and Director of Training
for IANTD Canada. He is also one of the current leaders for the
Transpac 95 Expedition, as well as technical diving in Canada.
Reg is a fully certified commercial diver, hyperbaric chamber
operator, hyperbarics instructor and instructor trainer/trainer for
all levels (except Cave) within the IANTD organization.
Dan Lindsay has been diving for 23 years. Six years were spent in the
commercial diving industry , working as Diver - EMT with Canadian
based companies in the Beaufort Sea, Davis Strait and the Great
Lakes. Dan is now an Electronics-Electrician by trade, but his
greater love is the time spent underwater in deep water wreck exploration,
videography and film-making. Through his company, SeaView Imaging,
he has created video from the Red Sea, the Andrea Doria, The Empress
of Ireland, and right here in our backyard, Tobermory. We also welcome
Dan back in his second year as a presenter at Shipwrecks.
Return to Shipwrecks Past Events
Return to NDA Home Page