Maryville diver helps bring closure to shipwreck families in Michigan


By Beth Haynes

On November 18, 1958, the Carl D. Bradley, a Great Lakes freighter, was heading home after her last run of the season.

"It was snowing. It was incredibly cold," explains diver Alan Williams of Maryville.

The Carl D. Bradley was caught in the middle of a fierce storm. Mother nature was too strong. The ship broke in two and sank. Incredibly, two people survived. Of the 33 that perished, the majority were from the tiny town of Rogers City, Michigan.

"We're talking a town less than 10,000 people. Then, all of a sudden, 33 people are gone--everyone knew everyone. It was a major disaster for this town."

Today, the Carl D. Bradley is a watery grave on the bottom of Lake Michigan. After all this time, the pain is still very real.

"This is called a re-breather and this is what we used during the dives, because of the extreme depth," says Williams, demonstrating equipment at Rhea's Dive Shop in Maryville.