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Speaker’s Bureau

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Leading Experts

The United States Life-Saving Service Heritage Association’s members are the leading experts in the history of coastal life-saving in America, and many of them are available to lecture to historical societies, rotary clubs, senior centers, schools – in fact, any group that is interested in learning more about this exciting topic.

speaking-engagement

President Fred Stonehouse speaking at the Nantucket Shipwreck & Lifesaving Museum

First National USLSSHA Speakers Bureau

Toward that end, we have compiled our first national USLSSHA Speakers Bureau. Each speaker is listed by region, with entries that list topics, the range they are willing to travel, any required fees, contact information, and more. To get your organization started down the road toward increased knowledge and respect for the work of the Life-Saving Service, Lighthouse Service and Coast Guard. Download the USLSSHA Speakers Bureau here

For more information, or to be listed on the bureau (must be a member of USLSSHA or sponsored by one), please contact us at uslssha@gmail.com.

Northeast

 

 

John J. Galluzzo

  • Awards Committee Chairman, Foundation for Coast Guard History
  • Director, Cape Cod Maritime Research Association
  • Co-founder, New England Military History Symposium
  • Contributor to Captain’s Seaside Guide, Northeast Boating Magazine, South Shore Living, Cape Cod Life, Ships Monthly, Boston Sunday Globe Magazine
  • Member, National Maritime Historical Society, United States Naval Institute
  • Author of more than 20 books
  • USLSSHA member since 1997

Topics

  • Greater Love Hath No Man: The Life of Joshua James
  • Richard Etheridge and the Pea Island Life-Savers
  • Lighthouses Far and Near
  • The Wreck of the C.A. Thayer: The Last Ship Afloat Saved by the USLSS (?)
  • The Louisville Floating Life-Saving Station
  • The Birth and Growth of the USLSS
  • When Hull Freezes Over: Historic Winter Tales from Hull, Massachusetts
  • The Pendleton Wreck Off Cape Cod: The Greatest Small Boat Rescue in Coast Guard History
  • The History of the Mass Humane Society
  • Boston Harbor in Vintage Postcards
  • Lifesavers of the South Shore: A History of Rescue and Loss
  • …others


Contact Info

Phone: 781-724-7131
Email: johnjgalluzzo@hotmail.com

Cost per appearance

$100 or expenses if they exceed that amount

Geographical range

No limit

George E. Grimes

  • Volunteer Lighthouse Keeper, Straitsmouth Island and Thacher Island, Rockport, Massachusetts
  • Active volunteer in the preservation of buildings, lighthouses and equipment
  • USLSSHA member since 1996

Topics:

  • The Thacher Island Lighthouses (Cape Ann Light Station)
  • Breeches Buoy Apparatus
  • Medium: lecture


Contact Info

Cell 508-284-6551
Email: bocean@comcast.net

Cost per appearance

$100

Geographical range

Massachusetts

Richard G. Ryder

  • Author, Old Harbor Station, Cape Cod
  • USLSSHA member since 1996

Topic

Cape Cod Life-Saving Stations

Contact Info

Phone: 774-722-0921
Email: dickryder413@gmail.com 

Cost per appearance

$1 per mile, minimum $20

Geographical range

100 miles from Eastham, Massachusetts

Mid-Atlantic and Southeast

Tim R. Dring

  • Coauthor of technical design history book published by University Press of Florida on U.S. Life-Saving Service and U.S. Coast Guard rescue craft.
  • Coauthor of recent books by Arcadia/History Press on the history of the Powhattan and New Era shipwrecks and early federal life-saving efforts, and on the history of the Florida houses of refuge
  • Researcher of rescue craft history for U.S. Coast Guard Historian’s Office, National Park Service, USLSSHA, and local preservation groups
  • Helps students in local (NJ) area school groups learn about lighthouses and rescue craft history
  • USLSSHA member since 2001; current president since 2013

Topic:

  • Life-Saving Service, Lighthouse Service, and Coast Guard small boats from the 1800’s to present

Contact info:

Phone: 609-259-5636
Email: mdringcghist@gmail.com

Cost per appearance:
Free for educational purposes

Geographical range:
New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania around Philadelphia, and lower New York State, perhaps Connecticut and Rhode Island with sufficient time to plan

Dana Goward, CAPT, USCG (Ret.)

Founder, USCG Office of Boat Forces

Boats – Refined and improved 47’ Motor Lifeboat, created 25’  Response Boat Small, founded Response Boat Medium acquisition  project, created Cutter Boat Over the Horizon (OTH), experimented  with Deployable Pursuit Boats, instituted standard navigation systems  for all boats

  • Staffing & Training – Added over 1000 new crew at boat stations, re- established Boatswain Mate School, created formal surfman training  program at units with dedicated unit instructors
  • Boat Forces Culture – Created Sumner I. Kimball Award, awards for  outstanding engineer and coxswain, instituted safety learning system,  founded Boat Forces Center at Training Center Yorktown, issued Boat  Operations and Training (BOAT) Manual, instituted Boat Forces  insignia for officers and enlisted. Added storekeeper for support at all  boat stations.
  • Funding – Improved maintenance and operating funds for all classes of  boats
  • Founder, USCG Helicopter Rescue Swimmer program
  • Commanding Officer, USCG Air Station New Orleans
  • Recipient of Helicopter Association International’s Igor Sikorsky Award for rescue of fishermen at the height of a hurricane
  • Contributor to Proceedings, the U.S. Naval Institute’s Independent Journal on National Defense
  • USLSSHA member since 1999

 

Topics:

  • Any of the above topics

Contact:

Email: dagoward@gmail.com 

Cost per appearance:

Free

Geographical Range:

Washington DC metro area, unless travel is provided

Wayne Kirklin

  • Freelance writer
  • Retired college professor
  • Associate Historian, Overfalls Maritime Museum Foundation
  • Tour guide, Lightship Overfalls, Lewes, Delaware
  • Sponsored by USLSSHA members Bill and Joan Reader

Topic: 

  • Lightships

Contact Info:
Phone: 302.945-0393
Email: wkirklin@verizon.net 

Cost per appearance:
Contributions for the Overfalls Foundation

Geographical Range: 
100 miles from Lewes, Delaware

Dan Lieb

  • Editor and contributing editor of New Jersey Historical Divers Association (NJHDA) Journal
  • Director of the NJHDA New Jersey Shipwreck Museum
  • USLSSHA member since 1996
Topics: 
  • New Jersey Shipwrecks

Contact info: 
Phone: 732-776-6261
Email: njhda@aol.com

Cost per appearance:
$100 plus cost of travel

Geographical range:
Unlimited provided costs are covered

 

 

Donna J. Weathers

  • Genealogist, writer, public speaker
  • Researcher of Surfmen of US Lifesaving Service 1878-1915
  • Volunteer Docent Cape Lookout National Seashore
  • USLSSHA member since 2018
  • Association of Professional Genealogist (APG) member since 2016

Topics

  • Maritime Ghosts: An overview of the US Lifesaving Service. Prior to 1915, our coastal waters were patrolled day and night by volunteers who risked their lives to save stranded and shipwrecked sailors. Learn more about this forgotten piece of our maritime past.
  • 65 yards in the Breeches Buoy: the drills and practices of the US Lifesaving Surfmen. An in depth look at a Surfman’s week to learn more about the techniques and technologies they used to rescue shipwrecked sailors.
  • The Surfmen of Cape Lookout: Each station had a life of its own, and so did each Surfmen who called it home. Hear tales and anecdotes of the lives, loss, and mishaps of the men of Cape Lookout Station as detailed in official records and logs of the service. (Other Outer Banks stations may be available.)


Contact Info

Email:djweathers@gmail.com

Cost per appearance

$100 plus travel (travel waived within 75 miles of Atlanta metro)

Geographical range

Negotiable

Great Lakes

Debbie Allyn Jett

  • Contributor to Wreck & Rescue Journal
  • 25 years in Chicago theatre, 8 years as a tour guide in the city
  • USLSSHA member since 2005

Topics: 

  • The Point Aux Barques Disaster, April 23, 1880
  • Thunder Bay Island Life-Saving Station
  • Hammond Bay Life-Saving Station
  • The Great Lakes Storm of 1913
  • The Wreck of the L.C. Waldo, Tragedy Off Rogers City

Contact info: 

Phone: 773-355-6464 or 773-327-6881
Email: debbie_jett@hotmail.com

Cost per appearance:

Negotiable

Geographical range: 

Negotiable

 

Fred Stonehouse

  • Board of Directors and Past President, USLSSHA
  • President/Director, Marquette Maritime Museum
  • Author of many books, including, The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, Wreck Ashore: The U.S. Life-Saving Service on the Great Lakes, and Great Lakes Lighthouse Tales
  • Contributor to Wreck & Rescue Journal and Lake Superior Magazine
  • Consultant to the National Park Service and Parks Canada
  • 2006 recipient of the Association for Great Lakes Maritime History Award for Historic Interpretation
  • 2007 recipient of the Marine Historical Society of Detroit’s “Historian of the Year” Award
  • 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award, Northern Michigan University
  • Founding member of USLSSHA

Topics:

  • Lake Michigan Maritime Ghost Tales
  • Lost on Superior: Shipwrecks Still Missing
  • Forgotten Heroes: The U.S. Life-Saving Service
  • Forgotten Heroes: The U.S. Life-Saving Service on the Great Lakes
  • Great Lakes Shipwrecks
  • Great Lakes Lighthouses
  • Freighters of Destiny
  • Shipwreck of the Mesquite: Death of a Coast Guard Cutter
  • The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
  • Great Lakes Shipwrecks: A Continuing Saga
  • …others

Contact info:
Email: stonef@charter.net 
Website: www.frederickstonehouse.com 

Cost per appearance:
Negotiable

Geographical range: 
Negotiable

Photo Above: Coquille River boathouse, 1938.  Unfortunately, most of the town of Bandon burned down in 1936.  Only 16 out of approximately 500 buildings survived the blaze on September 26, 1936.  The unstable Bank of Bandon seen here had to be pulled down.  The life-saving station complex did not survive the September firestorm.  All that did endure were the boats, the concrete launchway, and the bell stand on the hill.  The “open air” boathouse would serve them for four years until a new station was built.  (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard.)