Dennis Hale, author of his recently released autobiography “Shipwrecked: Reflections of the Sole Survivor,” will speak at the Door County Maritime Museum in Sturgeon Bay at 7 pm on Saturday, April 2, recounting one of the most remarkable shipwreck survival sagas of the Great Lakes.
It will be the final presentation in the Maritime Museum’s Speaker Series and unlike the free-will offering programs that precede it, only 80 tickets will be sold for Hale’s program.
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 first captivated the public in the book “Sole Survivor.” Hale told his tale to writers Tim Juhl, Pat and 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.
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 new book, released last year, will be available at the presentation. Hale penned the book himself and for that reason feels it projects a better picture of a life that spun 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 and the remarkable events that followed and how they impacted his life.
Tickets sell for $5 to Museum members and $12 to non-members and can be purchased by contacting the Museum at 920.743.5958.