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Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society
Dedicated to Saving our Shipwrecks "From Prevention to Preservation"
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March 2 - 3, 2018

Friday 7:00 to 10:00 PM
Saturday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
(Including After Party with food and Beverages)

Same Location as 2017!

Double Tree by Hilton in Bloomington

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If you are interested in joining the UMSAT Show Planning Committee, please email us at or contact Ken Merryman or Phil Kerber.

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Please let us know if you, or anyone you know, would like to be a star and speak at a future UMSAT Show!

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GLSPS Project Sponsors

Air Down There Scuba offers free air fills and special pricing on rental equipment while participating in GLSPS projects. Thank you, Scott and Tracy!

Aquaventure Dive and Photo Center offers free air fills and special pricing on rental equipment while participating in GLSPS projects. They have also loaned us a GoPro HD video camera for a few projects. Thank you, Steve and Jolene!

Videos produced by Steve at Aquaventure Dive and Photo Center filmed in Lake Michigan on a Milwaukee charter trip. Click on their above logo for information to join them on a charter to visit these shipwrecks.
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The Dredge 906

Jay Hanson from Superior Scuba Charters and North Shore Scenic Cruises has helped the GLSPS on many projects. Jay has many years of experience as a Captain, dive shop owner, dive instructor and commercial diver.

Jay has taken a different path for the past few years and his scuba charters are no longer available. However, in 2012, Jay purchased the Wenonah which was previously used to transport people from Grand Portage, MN to Isle Royale, MI. He now offers day cruises on the North Shore of Lake Superior and is docked at the Silver Bay, MN Marina.

If you are interested in booking a day charter cruise on the North Shore of Lake Superior, please click on the logo above for information on joining a north shore day cruise.

HomePretoria Boiler PIB

Pretoria Boiler Returns to Wreck

On June 8, 2001, the steam boiler was returned back to the shipwreck, Pretoria, near Outer Island in the Apostle Islands. This was accomplished through the efforts of many people, most notably the Erickson Family of Bayfield, Wisconsin, the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society.

The Pretoria was a 338-ft wooden schooner-barge, loaded with iron ore, that sank on September 2, 1905 a mile off the lighthouse on Outer Island. It was in tow with another ship, the steamer Venezuela, when a violent storm disabled the Pretoria's steering gear and the tow line parted. Captain Smart and his crew scrambled to the life boat, but only five of the crew of ten made it safely to shore. This is a unique situation. Back in the late 50s, Ed Erickson salvaged various parts and cargo off the Pretoria, including the main boiler.

On Friday, Robbie Erickson, Ed's grandson, skillfully maneuvered the Outer Island (a WWII landing craft, but that's another story) over the wreck and dropped the boiler and a mooring block into the wreckage field. Then divers went down and secured a cable and mooring buoy to the mooring block.

Last summer, Pat Labadie, former director of the Canal Park Museum, and several GLSPS divers convinced Ed to return the boiler to the wreck, where it would add to the historical significance of the shipwreck. Before Ed passed away in March of 2001, he agreed to help return it. Jeff Gray and his crew from the State Underwater Historical Society spent a day marking the wreck for this operation.

Early on June 8, Robbie and his crew from the Outer Island, along with several boats of divers, dropped the boiler onto the wreck site. The mooring buoy will allow divers to easily locate and anchor over the wreck without damaging the shipwreck.

The copper identification plate from the boiler is in the Bayfield Maritime Museum. The museum has many fascinating artifacts showing shipwrecks and the unique way of life, when one lives near one of the largest fresh-water lakes in the world.

A special thanks to the Erickson family, Ken Dobson of SER Inc, Jeff Gray and his crew, Bob Olson and his crew from GLSPS, The National Park Service, The Wisconsin DNR, The Great Lakes Shipwreck Research Foundation, and many others that helped in this endeavor.

All above-water photographs by Jim Reagan; all underwater photographs by Bruce Bowers.

Boiler is lowered into the water.

Boiler is back with the Pretoria.

Jeff Gray (left) and Bob Olson.

Mooring block is lowered into the water.

Divers attach mooring line to block.

Another view of divers working on the mooring block.