Monday, December 27, 2004


Love of diving runs deep within pioneer


The Detroit News
By Chris Sebastian
December 27, 2004

Lexington resident will be inducted into Women Divers Hall of Fame for underwater film work.

LEXINGTON, Mich. -- After three decades of underwater exploration, divers and landlubbers across the world have Pat Stayer to thank for a better glimpse of Great Lakes shipwrecks.

And the diving world is showing its gratitude to the 49-year-old Lexington resident by inducting her into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in March.

Stayer is co-owner of Out of the Blue Productions, an underwater filming business she operates with her husband, Jim. The couple each year help organize the popular "Shipwrecks Remembered" seminar in Port Huron.

The co-author of several books and producer of numerous shipwreck films, Stayer said she's happy to help make the Great Lakes a prominent location for divers worldwide.

But the freshwater lakes weren't always that way, she said.

Stayer learned to dive on her honeymoon in Florida because charter diving wasn't popular in Michigan.
"It wasn't developed up here," she said. "You had to dive off your own boat."

Working with other Great Lakes diving pioneers, she helped discover, map, photograph and videotape shipwrecks frequented by scuba divers.

Stayer gives presentations across the country on what is hidden beneath the surface of the lakes, and she hopes the next generation of divers has an equal respect for the wrecks.

"I'm trying to get people to realize the Great Lakes are there," she said.

Hall of fame member Joyce Hayward, who has filmed shipwrecks and advised on their management, nominated Stayer.

"There are not many of us women who do deep technical diving on shipwrecks in the cold water of the Great Lakes," Hayward said. "The amount of the contributions she has given ... has been extraordinary."

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