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'Shipwrecks Of Milwaukee' Documentary Explores Sunken Vessels In Lake Michigan

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Screenshot / YouTube / "Shipwrecks Of Milwaukee" / Milwaukee PBS
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A new documentary explores shipwrecks in Lake Michigan.

There are more than 750 shipwrecks in Wisconsin waters and each is its own time capsule. The new documentary Shipwrecks Of Milwaukee, presented by 10ThirtySix, explores some of these sunken vessels. The short film follows divers into the deep to explore what can be learned from these disasters frozen in time. 

"One thing that makes Milwaukee unique is that whether you're from here, or whether you're from somewhere else, there's this intrigue and this love of Lake Michigan that really brings everyone together," says producer Traci Neuman. 

https://youtu.be/m7e1dhGCg0Q

The documentary focuses on a few, more recent wrecks, including Dredge No. 6 which sank in 1956. One of the survivors, Jerry Lesch, is featured in the short film. Neuman says "it was amazing" hearing him retell the story of the incident "like it was yesterday."

Shipwrecks Of Milwaukee also focuses on a few other wrecks, including Prins Willem V and the Milwaukee Car Ferry. Director Brian Ewig says it was difficult to narrow down which wrecks to feature in the film.

"They say there’s about 6,000 shipwrecks in all of Lake Michigan, so it was hard for us to kind of figure out which ones to do, which ones to cover, with so many options," he explains.

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Joy Powers joined WUWM January 2016 as producer for Lake Effect. Most recently, she was a director and producer for The Afternoon Shift, on WBEZ-fm, Chicago Public Radio.