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Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society
Dedicated to Preserving our Shipwrecks and Maritime History
"From Prevention to Preservation"
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Website Updated

GLSPS Annual Fundraiser!!

UMSAT Show Website

If we are allowed to have a physical Show
The Date and Venue for 2021 UMSAT Show!!

April 9 - 10, 2021

Friday Night at the Movies
7:00 to 10:00 PM

Saturday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Main Show

(Meet and Greet Party with Food and Beverages)
At The Holiday Inn Hospitality Room
(Next Door to Jimmy's)
7:00 PM to 11:00 PM


If we have a Virtual Show Only
The dates would be

April 6 - 10, 2021

There will be one speaker each night 
starting at 7:00 PM

Saturday will have two speakers and
the GLSPS Awards Event 
Stay tuned for the Lineup of Speakers for 2021

For more information on the upcoming 2021 UMSAT Show, please visit

If you are interested in joining the UMSAT Show Planning Committee, please email us at

Or, contact Mary Lillimo at "Show Chairperson", or Phil Kerber, "President", at

Here are the Links to Important Exhibitors Documents
  UMSAT Booth Table Layout at Jimmy's Event Center

We are always looking for speakers that would like to present a great topic about their scuba diving or adventure travel experiences.

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

Lake Superior Magazine Logo 2x1
Check out the most beautiful magazine ever produced in Northern Minnesota!

GLSPS Project Sponsors

Air Down There Scuba offers free air fills and special pricing on rental equipment while participating in GLSPS projects. Required to show GLSPS Membership Card! 
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. You will be required to show your GLSPS Membership Card.  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.
Prins Willem
The Dredge 906

HomeAmerica 2004

2004 SS America Project & America Status

Project Announcement

The NPS has approved our plan. The GLSPS is planning to repair some damage that has occurred in the last two years to the America. The park reviewed the proposed plan and has approved it. The project is planned for September 10-12, a Friday through Sunday. The work will be done using three boats the Heyboy, Amarada, and RLT Diver III. We have room for 14 participants.

In an attempt to use the web to do the project sign-ups I am posting the list of positions and personnel signed up. Members who have work experience will be given preference for the main tasks. Members who have taken the training classes will be given preference for the apprentice positions. Members who applied last year but were turned down for space reasons are on the top of the list. We always try to have 25% new workers. Current First Aid and CPR certification is a strong plus. To sign up email me at and let me know what position you would like to be considered for and what your background and training is. Include in your email your current diving certification level, an estimate of the number of cold water shipwreck dives you have done in the last two years, any GLSPS training classes you have taken, and whether you have a current First Aid and CPR certification. Also let me know if you have any "job skills" in the areas on the job list. Just because there is already a name in the slot does not mean you will not be considered for the position. Many participants can and do fill multiple positions and I will re-arrange people's tasks to fill the needs. Update: The positions have been filled now.

America Project Position Descriptions

  • Project Manager – The project manager is in charge of the project. He leads the project planning, makes sure needed equipment and manpower is available, directs the operation, may schedule dives, and is the final decision maker except all decisions are subject to approval by the Safety Officer and Boat Captains.
  • Task Manager – On larger projects the project management may be broken up to allow multiple teams to work on different parts of the project. In this case the task manager directs the operation of the team and schedules dives and makes decisions pertaining to his team.
  • Safety Officer – In charge of making sure safety protocol is followed. He has the final say in what can be done in the water on site.
  • Boat Captains – In charge of safe operation of the boat and operations on the boat. Has the final say on all actions that affect the safety of the boat or passengers.
  • Tender for Surface Supplied Divers – In charge of surface communications and hose maintenance with the working diver. There will always be a tender on station when a diver is down.
  • Tender for Scuba Divers – In charge of surface communications if communication sets are used, logs in and out times, and is at the platform to relay requests for additional equipment and information, or in case of a problem. He is responsible to help keep the work area orderly.
  • Scuba Diver – Does the underwater work using scuba in environments approved for use of scuba to do work.
  • Surface Supplied Diver – The underwater worker which uses breathing air supplied from a hose from the surface. He is used in overhead environments.
  • Cook – In charge of planning meals, buying, transporting, and preparing food for the crew.
  • Machinery Operator – In charge of securing, setting-up, running and maintaining equipment for the project. He must make sure that equipment is in running order before the project begins. Equipment will often include compressors and pumps.
  • Craftsman – does the carpentry or metal work on the surface to fashion the pieces needed to do the task underwater.
  • Quarter Master – Is in charge of assembling equipment for the project.
  • Photographer/Documenter - Is in charge of creating the photographic or video record of the project and the before and after documentation of the changes for the historic record.
  • Deck Hand/Gopher – Is the worker who shuttles tanks, equipment, materials etc between the work platform and storage or the machinery area. This position is not necessarily a full time position and is generally a task shared by everyone in his or her off-gassing time.
Tentative Position # Needed - Names # Needed - Apprentices
Project Manager 1 - Ken Merryman  
Task Manager / Team Leader 2 -Steve Daniel
Ken Merryman
Ron Johnson
Safety Officer 1 - Phil Kerber 1 -
Boat Captains 2 - Ken Merryman
Harold Rochat
Ken Knutson
Scuba Dive Team #1 4- Ken Merryman
Harold Rochat
2 - Jerry Erdman
Jamie Qunell
Tenders – Scuba Team #1 3-4-Same  
Scuba Dive Team #2 4- Steve Daniel
Bob Nelson
Phil Kerber
Paul Imsland
2 - Bill Wallace
Tenders – Scuba Team #2 4 -Same  
Scuba Dive Team #3 4- Ron Johnson
Bob Olson
Al Brown
Joe Schambers
Tenders – Scuba Team #3 4 -Same  
Cook 1 - Bob Nelson 1 -
Machinery Operator 1 - Ken Knutson 1-Bill Wallace
Craftsman 2 - Ken Knutson
Bob Nelson
Quarter Master 1 - Tom Brueshaber N/A
Deck Hand/Gopher Everyone at a time N/A
Photographer / Documenter Al Brown, Joe Schambers  

Project Report

Written 10-04-04

This year's America Project was again short on planning and preparation due to being approved fairly late in the season.   Although we have been doing this long enough that we can put together an America Project very quickly now.  We lost the large spindled support posts on the open after deck over the 2001-2002 winter.   The aft upper wall of the engine room shifted to port partially blocking the doorway into the engine room.  The spindled newel posts on the grand staircase had been knocked loose and were falling apart and needed some home improvement and the purser's office needed some TLC.  Although seeing the America fall apart is very disappointing and fixes are never as good as new, we had another successful repair project and helped keep the America intact another year.

The work was done using three boats the Amarada, Heyboy, and RLT Diver III and fourteen participants Jamie Qunell, Jerry Erdman, Joe Schambers, Al Brown, Bill Wallace, Harold Rochat, Steve Daniel, Ron Johnson, Ken Knutson, Phil Kerber, Paul Imsland, Bob Nelson, Bob Olson, and Ken Merryman.   Our thanks to all of the participants and a special thanks Brian Anderson and Ralph Thorne for making the RLT Diver III available.

(See project photos at bottom of this page.)

2004 Repair Tasks

This year's project was a short focused set of tasks.  We only had a couple of weeks to plan it so keeping it simple was important.  Basically we had one full work day and a setup and teardown day.  All but one task were completed to some extent.  This years tasks were the following:
  1. Re-install the open afterdeck pillars that fell down sometime in the last three years.  This turned out to be a fairly quick job for Bob Olson, Ron Johnson, Joe Schambers, and Al Brown.  Joe and Al retrieved the base for one of the spindled pillars out of the debris.  The other was still in place.  Harold Rochat retrieved the posts and Ron and Bob re-installed them  The posts should help support a badly leaning cabin deck.
  2. Move and refasten the aft wall of the upper engine room that shifted to port this year.  Jerry Erdman, Harold Rochat, Jamie Qunell and Ken Merryman managed to move the wall and re-fasten it in position.  The wall had shifted to port partially blocking the door from the Social Salon to the upper engine room.  It was more collateral damage from the salon cabin roof damage that was believed to be pulled off by a boat anchor in 2001.  The missing roof allowed the wall to the engineers quarters to shift a bit and eventually weaken this wall.  GLSPS fixed the deck and refastened the joints to the walls in 2001 and 2002, but once things shift it is nearly impossible to move them back perfectly.
  3. Stabilize the tables in the dining room.  This is the only task that we chose not to do.  The tables seemed as good as they needed to be for the present.
  4. Do a Zebra Mussel video survey of the Windigo Dock and Beaver Is Dock.  Al Brown and Joe Schambers did a thorough video survey of both docks and found one dead mussel that they believed to be a Zebra Mussel. At least now the park has a baseline on which to base any future surveys.
  5. Stabilize the purser's office wall and mailboxes in the pursers office that have fallen down.  Steve Daniel, Bob Nelson, Phil Kerber and Bill Wallace worked on this task but were disappointed at the deteriorated state of the wood.  It was shored up as well as possible using supporting cleats.
  6. Re-assemble the port side grand staircase lower newel posts.  Bob Nelson and Paul Imsland did a nice job re-assembling the newel posts.
  7. Fix mooring.  The park mooring block was  upside-down again.  We needed to right it with our lift bag.  Bob Olson and Phil Kerber made quick work of this task before we headed home.
Although Ken Knutson's head was too stopped up to dive this year, he was and is always the key person to keeping compressors and equipment working and building all the parts and pieces that need building on the surface.  He stepped up to be the RLT Diver III boat captain this year when Brian and Ralph couldn't make it.  Al and Joe documented the work on video.   Bob Nelson fed us well and everyone appreciates a good cook.

Ken Knutson stepped up to be the Captain of the RLT III.

All projects are started with a safety orientation given by our Safety Officer Phil Kerber..

Setting up a permanent mooring over the wreck is always the first task  It needs to hold three boats in variable weather for three days and not damage the wreck.

Diver Ron Johnson works on his mask before entering the water to fix the pillars on the open after deck.

Crew members Jamie Qunell, Phil Kerber, and Steve Daniel start the day out with a hearty breakfast.

Captain Harold Rochat and project cook Bob Nelson are caught dumbfounded at the breakfast table. (Just kidding Bob)

Bill Wallace was also new to the project this year.  He wears the lime green tenders cap between his dives.  The tender is always present whenever there are divers down and the hat is how we control and identify who is responsible.

Ken Knutson and Bill Wallace prepare to cut the support structures for the engine room wall repairs.  Surface support is key to making good use of time underwater.

Jerry Erdman gently nurses the engine room wall back into place.

Tools, equipment, and parts are transported to the worksite in five gallon pails.

Bob Nelson and Paul Imsland rebuilt the grand staircase newel posts which were falling apart.

Paul Imsland fastens a brass band around newel post which will secure the sides of the post and be barely visible after a winter in the water.

Al Brown not only completed the Zebra mussel dock surveys but also continued his documentary on the SS America Project.

Captain Harold Rochat joined the project this year with his boat Amarada.  Here Harold and Ken Merryman talk about the next step in fixing the engine room wall.

Joe Schambers recovered the end cap mount from the loose debris for the afterdeck pillars we replaced.

This is the base of the replaced pillar on the open afterdeck.  Note the original steel pipe cap that was used as the original mount for the pillar.
Ken Knutson and Jerry Erdman pass the lift bag to Bob Olson and Phil Kerber as they prepare to fix the park mooring block.