via press release:
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy.
HISTORY® SERIES PREMIERE
GREAT LAKE WARRIORS
Thursday, July 19th, at 10pm ET/9pm CT
New York, NY, July 18, 2012 – In the heart of America, on a deadly inland sea that has claimed as many as 6000 vessels and 30,000 lives, a way of life exists that few ever witness. Men who breathe diesel fumes and watch every step they take on shifting decks. Men who battle the elements, wrestle with runaway vessels, fight fatigue and sometimes risk all in the struggle to make a living.
They are tugboat men, sailors in constant combat with the deadly storms and hazards of the Great Lakes– men who work against the clock, fighting thick ice forming in every direction under treacherous winter conditions – winds whip so fierce it could knock an entire crew off deck in the blink of an eye. A new 8-part HISTORY series, GREAT LAKE WARRIORS, premiering Thursday, July 19, 10pm ET/9C, will dive into the lives of the tough crews who call 94,000 square miles of wild blue water home.
The lakes continue to be a thriving industrial highway that delivers nearly 200 million tons of cargo to the heart of America. But for the months leading up to the dead of winter, only a few courageous men dare to brave these turbulent waters, where winds can hit 70 miles an hour, and waves over 30 feet high.
For some, the tug business is the family heritage. For others, it’s a lifelong dream. But for all of the GREAT LAKE WARRIORS, it’s a life-on-the-line mission to get the job done and make it back home alive.
The main characters:
Captain John Selvick Known as ‘The Legend’ on the lakes, Selvick has been behind the controls of tugboats since he was seven when his father, Curly Selvick, took him on board in the cold waters around Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. It has not been an easy life for John, now owner of Calumet River Fleeting in Chicago and Selvick Marine Towing in Sturgeon Bay. He lost his grandfather and a brother in tugboat accidents. Their bodies were never recovered.
Capt. Ted Long A workhorse of Calumet River Fleeting, Long is known as “Capt. Nice” for his penchant for chewing out deckhands who have slacked off. He has followed in the footsteps of his father, a tug captain who dropped him off on a boat on Christmas Eve when he was 14. Ted never looked back.
Capt. Mike Ojard A dreamer and a doer, Mike has put his money and sometimes his life on the line in Duluth, Minnesota to start a tug company on Lake Superior, the deadliest and wildest of all five Great Lakes. He has enlisted a corps of volunteers from his circle of family and friends to carve out a piece of the tug trade on Superior. He hopes to create a new generation of sailors in his family, one that has marine heritage in its blood.
Patrick Ojard He still has his day job, but he loves boats as much as his father Mike. So he and his wife sunk $50,000 into the operation to help buy a tug. Now a volunteer on deck and in the engine room, he is working to make sure his father’s dream comes true so that tug boating will be the family heritage.
Capt. Gerry Dawson In Thunder Bay, Ontario, on the wild north shore of Lake Superior, Gerry owns and operates a tug company that does everything – ship tows, ice breaking, salvage, and sometimes search and rescue. He once put his own life on the line to rescue crew from a foundering vessel in 15-foot waves and 70 knot winds. He and his crew were awarded medals for their bravery.
Capt. Stan Dawson Older brother of Gerry, Stan is the wild one and claims that you “don’t have to be crazy to do this, but it helps.” He has been on the lakes since he was a teenager, working for his father. “I can make a tugboat dance,” Stan says.
Filming was done on Lake Michigan, including Calumet Harbor, Illinois; Gary and Burns Harbors, Indiana; Milwaukee, Oak Creek, Sturgeon Bay, and Marinette, Wisconsin; and on Lake Superior, including Duluth-Superior Harbor and Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada.
GREAT LAKE WARRIORS was produced for History by Towers Productions, LLC and Compass Point Productions, LLC; Executive Producers JONATHAN TOWERS, JIM CAMPBELL, GEORGE HOUDE and MARTY BERNSTEIN, and Show Runner/Co-Executive Producer JOSEPH BOYLE. Executive Producer for History is MATTHEW GINSBURG.