Video: Daniel Rees
© Shipwreck Preservation Society of Newfoundland & Labrador Inc., 2019
Rick Stanley is the owner of Ocean Quest Adventures, which is a scuba diving operator in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada. On November 11th each year (Remembrance Day in Canada), Ocean Quest Adventures takes scuba divers out to lay a wreath on one of the Bell Island shipwrecks.
Transcript of video:
So this is Remembrance Day [November 11th], and boats going out doing our 19th wreath-laying ceremony on the Bell Island shipwrecks.
Rick Stanley is sitting indoors near a model of a wooden sailing ship.
So yeah, this group of divers (and we’re uh) … got a wreath made all with biodegradable good stuff for the environment, and it’s a special day, of course, to remember those who, the Merchant Mariners, it was part of the war, and war days. And we feel very important that we pay our respects you know and give something back. And make … bring awareness to to what went on here on the shores of Newfoundland, you know. The torpedo coming and striking land, and those sailors that lost their lives. Almost 70 sailors lost their lives out there, on two separate attacks in September and November of 1942. And you know when we dive out there, we bring divers from all over the world. And we like to reiterate those stories to those divers, so they don’t only you know have a dive on a shipwreck, it’s a dive into history. And we consider those shipwrecks underwater museums. And there’s still these wrecks are out there upright, intact, full of marine life. And with many stories to tell, and the personal artifacts and so on, that are on these shipwrecks, you know, it just brings a really, reminder of what this is all about here. And the people of Bell Island and you know the sacrifices they made during the war, and in the mining and so on, for the war effort is a very important part of the whole story. And we like to tell that story and it’s very touching. But you know what, the people are coming and they’re not realizing where they’re coming to until they get here, really. And the folks of Newfoundland and the group here at Ocean Quest, are in everyday, in every way and everything we say, basically, is you know the culture, the history, the heritage, and we’re delivering a great adventure for them. And they get that sense of place and they go away and they tell others, and more people want to come and experience it, but Remembrance Day is a very important day of the year for us and we try to pay our respects in the best way we can, and we figure it’s laying a wreath out there. And bringing awareness to the local divers, as well as those who come from away.