4th Annual Graveyard of the Atlantic Underwater Heritage Symposium set for April 1, 2017

4th-annual-graveyard-of-the-atlantic-underwater-heritage-symposium-3Early spring is the beginning of diving season on the Outer Banks and also when the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum hosts its annual Underwater Heritage Symposium. The event is scheduled for April 1,2016 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

This daylong event features divers, underwater archaeologists, scientists and historians sharing fascinating presentations on underwater heritage to include diving adventures, research projects, environmental issues, and maritime history and culture.

Keynote speaker in 2017 is underwater photographer, Mike Boring.

Mr. Boring’s fascination with shipwrecks began on his first wreck dive off of the New Jersey coast in 1971. Since then, he has explored and photographed shipwrecks from above the Arctic Circle to warm waters of the South Pacific.

In 1985, Mr. Boring was a member of the team that found and recovered the ship’s bell from Italian Luxury Liner Andrea Doria sunk in 240 feet of water of Nantucket, Massachusetts. From the late 1980s though the mid-1990s, he owned and operated the charter dive boat Sea Hunter out of Virginia Beach, Virginia. In 1990, he discovered and identified Eureka, a four-masted steam schooner sunk 50 miles offshore in 1888 after a collision. Over the next several years, Mr. Boring and friends recovered hundreds of artifacts from Eureka that would otherwise have been lost forever.

In 1994, Mr. Boring and fellow diver Doug Buckley were the first divers on New Jersey, a former US battleship sunk in 330 feet of water off Cape Hatteras by General William “Billy” Mitchell. He participated in three expeditions to locate, explore, and identify the Battle of Jutland wrecks in the North Sea. In 2003, Mr. Boring organized an international team that traveled to Poland to dive Wilhelm Gustloff, a German liner sunk by a Russian U-boat in January 1945. It is said to be the deadliest shipwreck in 4th-annual-graveyard-of-the-atlantic-underwater-heritage-symposium-2history with 9,000 lives lost. Mr. Boring is currently concentrating on exploring and photographing shipwrecks in the Great Lakes.

There will be ten speakers covering a wide range of topics. Speakers include local and national experts with many years of experience dealing with the joys and challenges of diving and exploration.

Other speakers joining Mr. Boring include: U-85 expert, professional diver and author, Jim Bunch; professional captain and diver, JT Barker; underwater archaeologist and diver, Joyce Steinmetz; professional dive captain Dave Sommers; Environmental Protection Specialist for the Fifth District, Response Division, Leonard Rich; shipwreck researcher and diver, Marc Corbett; shipwreck diver, Hal Good; shipwreck diver, Penny Good; and LT Sean DiGeorge, a member of the Sector North Carolina Contingency Planning and Force Readiness Division.

“The 4 th Annual Graveyard of the Atlantic Underwater Heritage Symposium provides a unique opportunity for the diving community who have experience in diving along the Outer Banks to share their experience and knowledge with other divers and the public at large,” states North Carolina Maritime Museums Executive Director, Joseph K. Schwarzer.

“The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is proud to host the symposium for the fourth year to provide a better understanding among sport and recreational divers and the public,” he said.

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Underwater Heritage Symposium gives participants and the audience a chance to meet, talk shop and discover various fields of interest and share years of knowledge and expertise. It has become the annual event where divers and underwater archaeologists share their experiences with the public.

Contact Mary Ellen Riddle at 252-986- 2995 or maryellen.riddle@ncdcr.gov, with questions and if you would like to receive via e-mail a list of local accommodations so you can book your stay early.

The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum is located at 59200 Museum Dr., Hatteras, NC 27943. The public is always welcome. Admission is free and donations are always appreciated.