Award Winning Diving Stars Speaking In Chicago Today

Jill Heinerth, Dr Neal W Pollock, Our World Underwater Chicago, Bell Island Expedition, Steve Lewis, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Rebreather Forum 3, cave diving, scuba diving
Jill Heinerth and Neal Pollock during the 2016 Bell Island Expedition - Photo Credit : Steve Lewis

Two explorers and a diving doctor are headlining 'Our World Underwater' in Chicago this weekend.

You can find Jill Heinerth, Richie Kohler and Dr Neal Pollock at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont.

Jill and Neal have just flown in from Newfoundland - they were part of a team exploring and surveying the Bell Island Mine - and are pictured here in Conception Bay South.

They are going to be talking on subjects close to their heart.

Jill is speaking about the science of cave diving and giving advice on rebreather diving, whilst Neal will be discussing managing decompression stress and concerns of the aging diver. You can find the talk schedule here.

Dive Rite, Lamar Hires, Jared Hires, Our World Underwater Chicago, Transpac, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, scuba divingIn between talks visitors have the opportunity of perusing the very latest in scuba diving equipment. Whether you are looking for your first snorkel or first rebreather, you should be able to find it here.

If you are considering more adventurous diving it is worth checking out Dive Rite. This company extensively designs and tests their gear by taking it real life diving. In reality it means that you benefit from equipment that fits properly and is capable of supporting the dives you want to do.

Did you know that several rebreather divers use a Transpac harness underneath their unit because it is so comfortable and hard wearing? And that many divers are diving Dive Rite products that are 10 - 20 years old because they are durable and so well made?

Last Olympian, Our World Underwater Chicago, Rosemary E Lunn, Roz Lunn, The Underwater Marketing Company, Richie Kohler, Rebreather Forum 3, O'Three Drysuits, scuba diving, wreck divingDive Rite equipment would not be out of place being dived on *HMHS Britannic.

Britannic is **RMS Titanic's bigger sister, and she also sunk. But why did she sink?

Britannic was being built in Belfast when Titanic sunk early on the 15th April 1912. Titanic's catastrophic loss was such a shock to her shipbuilder - Harland & Wolff - that the engineers redesigned the mighty Britannic so that she would not share the same fate as her sister. But she sank twice as quickly as Titanic. How was that possible?

A man with some answers is wreck explorer and deep sea detective Richie Kohler. Richie is going to be talking about 'A Decade of Exploration on HMHS Britannic'. And, if you are lucky, you might even be able to get your paws on a copy of his latest book, 'The Last Olympian'. Why not get it signed!

*   HMHS = His / Her Majesty's Hospital Ship
** RMS = Royal Mail Ship (sometimes Steam-ship or Steamer)

Full Circle: Listen to The Bell Island Shipwrecks Story at DIVE.2011

If you’re a passionate temperate water diver looking for an exciting and different destination, check out Ocean Quest Newfoundland (  For centuries vessels have run aground on Newfoundland’s seductive coastline with one of the most interesting sites and stories being that of the Bell Island Wrecks. 

Bell Island is one of the few locations in North America that German forces directly attacked in the Second World War.  For in 1942 four Allied iron-ore carriers, moored in Conception Bay, were torpedoed by German U-Boats.  Before WWII the Germans had regularly bought the iron mined from Bell Island.  Once war had been declared this relationship ceased and the Bell Island ore was now being shipped to Britain.  Germany understandably wasn’t happy and two daring raids were hatched.  On 5th September Fregattenkapitän Rolf Rüggeberg of U-513 successfully torpedoed the Canadian ship SS Lord Strathconca and the British SS Saganaga. They sunk in a couple of minutes.  Then just under two months later on 2nd November, U-518 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Friedrich-Wilhelm Wissmann, sunk the Rose Castle and PLM-27.  Today the Bell Island Wrecks sit upright and intact in mouthwateringly clear Canadian waters and covered in star fish, anemones, sea urchins, mussels and crabs.  Lying in 18 – 48 metres, they’re a Mecca for all temperate water wreck divers.

The story of the Bell Island Wrecks doesn’t finish here though.  In the mid 2000’s Marita, daughter of Captain Rüggeberg, was clearing out her mother’s house when she discovered a small box.  Inside were military documents, slide photos of icebergs and two Iron Crosses that Rüggeberg had received for sinking the SS Lord Strathconca and the SS Saganaga.  Her husband (Barry) started researching, “it was like a jigsaw.  Once we got hold of a copy of the logbook and started to work on the logbook, it all started to come together.  The pictures matched some of the positions of the boat and the story began to unfold”.

The story took on a new twist when Captain Rüggeberg’s son-in-law attended one of the UK Dive Shows.  Barry stumbled across Ocean Quest Newfoundland, who run trips to dive the wrecks that Rüggeberg torpedoed.  As a direct result, in July 2010 Marita and Barry visited Bell Island and donated Rüggeberg’s artifacts (including the two Iron Crosses) to the Bell Island Museum.

To hear more of this exciting story, come and listen to Rick Stanley talk at 2pm in Room 23 this weekend at DIVE.2011, Birmingham.  And if wrecks aren’t your thing, then you can also find out more about diving with majestic Humpback Whales, breathtaking icebergs or abandoned whaling stations.

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