Top Menu

Speaker’s Bureau


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.


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 [email protected].




John J. Galluzzo

  • Awards Committee Chairman, Foundation for Coast Guard History
  • Maritime Heritage Chair and Secretary, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council; Volunteer of the Year, 2014
  • Contributor to Captain’s Seaside Guide, Northeast Boating(later Offshore), South Shore Living, Cape Cod Life, Ships Monthly, The Cutter, The Keeper, Wreck & Rescue, and numerous local magazines in Massachusetts
  •  Volunteer, National Maritime Historical Society; Reviewer for Sea History
  •  Author of more than 50 books
  •  USLSSHA member since 1997; former editor, Wreck & RescueandLife Lines


  • Greater Love Hath No Man: The Life of Joshua James
  • Lifesavers of the South Shore of Boston: A History of Rescue and Loss
  • The Life-Saving Service on Cape Cod
  • Richard Etheridge and the Pea Island Life-Savers
  • 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
  • A Natural Partnership: The Life-Saving Service and the Smithsonian
  • Unifunctionalism: The “Merger” that Created the Coast Guard
  • The Coast Guard: A History and Top Ten Rescues
  • The Coast Guard in Massachusettes
  • Wings for the Fleet: Early Days of Coast Guard Aviation
  • By Resolution and Perseverance: The History of the Mass Humane Society
  • Shipwrecks of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary
  • Lighthouses Far and Near
  • The Lighthouses of Boston Harbor
  • The Lighthouses of the South Shore of Boston
  • A Day in the Life of a Lighthouse Keeper
  • Lighthouses Heroes
  • The Flying Santa of the Lighthouses
  • When Hull Freezes Over: Historic Winter Tales from Hull, Massachusetts
  • Boston Harbor in Vintage Postcards
  • …others


Contact Info

Phone: 781-724-7131
Email: [email protected]

Cost per appearance

$150 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


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

Contact Info

Phone: 508-284-6551
Email: [email protected]

Cost per appearance


Geographical range




Captain W. Russel Webster, USCG (Ret.)

  • Graduate of the U. S. Coast Guard Academy. Holds master’s degrees from the Naval Postgraduate School and the Naval War College.
  • Coast Guard Academy’s 2017 Distinguished Alumni
  • 42 Year Career with three federal agencies: 26 years in the USCG, followed by service with the Boston area TSA and with Region 1 FEMA.
  • Author of four books, focused on famous Coast Guard rescues
  • Consultant in maritime legal matters
  • Adjunct Instructor in Homeland Security at University of New Haven.
  • Complete biography on his website


  • America’s Lost Son: The 1999 Search for JFK Jr.
  • Lost in Charleston’s Waves; The 1997 Tragedy of the Sailing Vessel Morning Dew
  • The 1990 Tragedy of the Fishing Vessel Sol e Mar off Martha’s Vineyard
  • The 1952 Pendleton Rescue off Chatham

Cost per appearance

Varies, depending on travel requirements. ($200-$500)

Geographical range

New England

Richard G. Ryder

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


Cape Cod Life-Saving Stations

Contact Info

Phone: 774-722-0921
Email: [email protected] 

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


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

Contact info:

Phone: 609-259-5636
Email: [email protected]

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


  • Any of the above topics


Email: [email protected] 

Cost per appearance:


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


  • Lightships

Contact Info:
Phone: 302.945-0393
Email: [email protected] 

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
  • New Jersey Shipwrecks

Contact info: 
Phone: 732-776-6261
Email: [email protected]

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


  • 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:[email protected]

Cost per appearance

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

Geographical range


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


  • 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: [email protected]

Cost per appearance:


Geographical range: 



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


  • 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: [email protected] 

Cost per appearance:

Geographical range: 

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.)