DCMM Brings Shipwreck Survivor Back to Door County, June 21-22

Posted on 30. May, 2012 by in Nautical History

Dennis Hale, author of an autobiography, “Shipwrecked: Reflections of the Sole Survivor,” returns to Door County for a pair of presentations on Thursday, June 21 and Friday, June 22 in response to a hugely popular appearance here in 2011.

Lake freighter Daniel J. Morrell

Lake freighter Daniel J. Morrell which sank in Lake Huron in 1966

Hale will return to Bay View Lutheran Church in Sturgeon Bay for a program on Thursday, June 21 and will then head up to the Baileys Harbor Town Hall on Friday night. Both programs will begin at 7 pm. Tickets are now available.

Hale was the only survivor of the ill-fated lake freighter Daniel J. Morrell which sank in Lake Huron in 1966. Hale’s harrowing account of his 38 hours on an open raft in Lake Huron captivated the public and recounted in the book “Sole Survivor.” Hale told his tale to writers Tim Juhl and Pat & Jim Stayer relating the events of Nov. 29, 1966 when the 603-foot bulk carrier broke in two during a raging storm and plunged to the bottom of lake. Hale and three other men managed to climb onto a raft, but in temperatures that hovered around freezing the other three men died within hours of hypothermia. Doctors were mystified by how the 26-year-old Hale survived the ordeal.

“People were so captivated by Hale’s program that we invited Dennis to come back during the warmer months when many of our seasonal residents have returned and more visitors are in the area,” said the museum’s executive director Bob Desh. “We also wanted to offer the program further north on the peninsula.”

As one newspaper account recently summarized Hale’s presentation, “Hale is baring his soul and telling a tale that few men can reveal – that of being the sole survivor of a Great Lakes shipwreck.”

Copies of Hale’s autobiography, released in 2010, will be available at the presentation. Hale feels the book projects a tale of survival beginning when he was a teenager hitch-hiking across the country to that April morning of 1964 when he signed on the Morrell, the remarkable events that followed and how they impacted his life.

Seating is limited and any remaining tickets will available at the door. Tickets sell for $5 to Door County Maritime Museum members and $12 to non-members and can be purchased by visiting 120 N. Madison Ave. in Sturgeon Bay or calling 920.743.5958.

Tags: , , , , ,