2009 Michigan Notable Book - Wreck of the Carl D.: a True Story of Loss, Survival, and Rescue at Sea by Michael Schumacher. Indiana University Press

book cover: Wreck of the Carl D.2009 Michigan Notable Book - Wreck of the Carl D.: a True Story of Loss, Survival, and Rescue at Sea by Michael Schumacher. (Indiana University Press)

On November 18, 1958, a 623-foot limestone carrier, broke in two and sank in less than five minutes.  Four of the 35-person crew escaped to a small raft braving 30-foot waves and frigid temperatures.  As the storm raged on, a search-and-rescue mission hunted for survivors.  In Wreck of the Carl D.  Schumacher chronicled the story of not just a lake freighter but of the men who crewed it.  All but two of the 35 crew members perished.

Schumacher described three elements that make the wreck of the Carl D. Bradley fascinating.  First is that the Carl D. was on its last voyage of the season before being docked for extensive repairs.  Second: the search-and-rescue efforts by the Coast Guard and other vessels.  Finally, there is the story of Rogers City, home of the Carl D. and 26 crew members.  With so many of the crew coming from one small town, that community became a focal point.  Reportedly, family members drove across the tip of Michigan to beam their headlights out onto Lake Michigan to assist in the search and rescue.  Afterwards, there was a funeral on almost every street in a town home to only four churches.  “I found myself more and more attached to Rogers City and its people the deeper I got into the research. It became so important to me that this story be told correctly."  Schumacher spent about a year and a half researching the book, conducting more than 200 interviews with 75 to 100 people. 

Schumacher reconstructed the events leading up to the sinking of the Carl D. Bradley that November afternoon, the history of the boat and its owners, and the story of Rogers City, a small picturesque fishing town on Lake Huron.  He also offers riveting details of the search and rescue efforts conducted while the storm raged and tells of the finding of the wreck by divers in 1995.

Schumacher, Michael, Mark Gumbinger, Editor. Collision Course: three Whitefish Bay Shipwrecks. Kenosha, WI: Southport Video, 1996.

Schumacher, Michael, Mark Gumbinger, Editor. Demise of the Daniel J. Morrell. Kenosha, WI: Southport Video, 1997.

Schumacher, Michael, Mark Gumbinger, Editor. Edmund Fitzgerald: Past and Present. Kenosha, WI: Southport Video, 1997.

Schumacher, Michael. Francis Ford Coppola: a Filmmaker’s Life. New York, NY: Crown Publishers, 1999.

Schumacher, Michael, Mark Gumbinger, Editor. Great Lakes Shipwreck Disasters. Kenosha, WI: Southport Video, 2001.

Schumacher, Michael, Mark Gumbinger, Director. Haunted Lighthouses of the Great Lakes. Kenosha, WI: Southport Video, 2004.

Schumacher, Michael, Mark Gumbinger, Director. Loss of the Linda-E. Kenosha, WI: Southport Video, 2006. 

Schumacher, Michael. Mighty Fitz: the Sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. New York, NY: Bloomsbury publishing. 2005 - 2006 Michigan Notable Book Selection

Schumacher, Michael, Mark Gumbinger, Editor. Mystery of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Kenosha, WI: Southport Video, 1993.

Schumacher, Michael. November’s Fury: the Deadly Great Lakes Hurricane of 1913. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2013. - 2014 Michigan Notable Book Selection

Schumacher, Michael and Mark Gumbinger. Rouse Simmons: the Christmas Tree Ship. Kenosha, WI: Southport Video, 1992.

Schumacher, Michael, Mark Gumbinger, Producer, editor, director. Straits of Mackinac Shipwrecks. Kenosha, WI: Southport Video, 2002.

Schumacher, Michael. Torn in Two: the Sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell and One Man’s Survival on the Open Sea. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2016.

Schumacher, Michael. Wreck of the Carl D.: a True Story of Loss, Survival, and Rescue at Sea. New York, NY: Bloomsbury USA, 2008. - 2009 Michigan Notable Book Selection

Schumacher, Michael and Mark Gumbinger. Wreck of the Carl D. Bradley. Kenosha, WI: Southport Video, 1992.