As educators, Jim and Pat Stayer have spent most of their lives trying to preserve, promote, and protect maritime history. They have been scuba diving for over 35 years and both hold Tri-mix and Deep Air as well as 14 other scuba diving certifications. Jim is captain holding a United States Coast Guard Masters License 100 Ton. In 2005 Pat became a member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame an international organization. From 1985-2005, Jim and Pat, ran a scuba diving charter business. They have discovered eight shipwrecks and documentated several dozen others. Also they have co-authored and published three books; If We Make It ‘til Daylight, Sole Survivor, and Shipwrecks of Sanilac, and have written several magazine and newspaper articles. The State of Michigan has deemed Jim an expert on underwater artifacts for the court system.
They have produced over 70 programs, most dealing with shipwrecks in the Great Lakes; several in Lake Huron, while the rest of the videos deal with dive destinations around the world. For 19 years they have presented at major dive shows across the United States and Canada, as well as for non-profit groups. They are annual presenters at New York’s Beneath the Sea (the largest Dive Show in North America), Chicago’s Our World Underwater and Boston Sea Rovers. From 1996-2005, Jim and Pat produced, “Shipwrecks Remembered” at McMorran Place, Port Huron, Michigan. Also, they have produced over 20 DVDs that are distributed across the Great Lakes.
As part of the national diving community, they have volunteered in many activities. They host interns from Boston ( Frank Scalli Annual Summer Internship), teaching them video and editing techniques and have put on youth programs for Ocean Pals. They were honored for their dedication to Maritime History and Preservation by the Ohio Divers, and were awarded “Divers of the Year” in 2004.
Jim and Pat Stayer have many advance digital video and computer skills. They have worked as cameramen for the History Channel. In addition, they have sold footage and underwater still photography for presentations, books, magazines and television. Their work has appeared on all the major TV networks. Jim has configured video and digital workstations and consulted with others throughout the country on designing and implementing other’s workstations. Pat is considered by some an expert in the field of video editing, Photoshop and page layout, and has taught computer classes and assisted people nationwide. The couple have given workshop in Boston, Chicago, and New York, on techniques of shooting and editing High Definition and Standard video. Over the years they have scanned several hundred photographs and restored many of them.
As Board of Directors of the Michigan State Underwater Preserve Council, Jim was a Past President while Pat held the office of Secretary. In 1986 they assisted in the creation of the Sanilac Shores Underwater Preserve and were founding members of the Sanilac Shores Preserve Council; for many years, Jim served as the council’s President while Pat was the Treasurer/ Secretary. One of the major accomplishments that Jim directed for the organization was the funding, implementation, and placement of the first State of Michigan Underwater Historical Marker. This historical marker was placed on the tug Sport in lower Lake Huron. In 1988 they sparked the community into creating the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum and Maritime Center. For many years Pat served as the center’s Director and Jim as the Vice President. Jim also served as President for local Steelheaders and was awarded “Captain of the Year” for three years in a row. From 1988 to 1995 they were Special Deputies for the Sanilac County Sheriff’s Dive Team.
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