Discovering the steamship Alice E. Wilds

Posted on August 24th, 2018


On Thursday, August 30, 2018 (6:30pm-location: Shipwreck Museum Motor Lifeboat House, Whitefish Point), Captain Jitka Hanakova of Shipwreck Explorers and internationally recognized underwater photographer, Becky Kagan Schott, will speak on the shipwreck of the Alice E. Wilds.

Jitka Hanakova

In 2015 Jitka and her team researched and searched for the long missing steamship Alice E. Wilds off of Milwaukee, WI. She collided with the steamship Douglas on June 12, 1892 in a heavy fog. The Wilds went down but the Douglas did save all the passengers. Follow Capt. Jitka Hanakova and famous photographer Becky Kagan Schott as they take you on a journey of researching, searching, and ultimately diving this intact steamship at 300ft of water.

Captain Jitka Hanáková is the owner of Shipwreck Explorers LLC (, and Owner/Captain of the charter boat Molly V, based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Shipwreck Explorers offer recreational and technical scuba diving trips throughout the Western Great Lakes, operating Molly V seasonally from remote sites in Lakes Michigan, Huron, and Superior. Jitka is an avid Great Lakes diver, award winning underwater photographer and videographer; and also enjoys free-diving, cave diving, and ocean wreck diving. Most recently Jitka and her dive team joined forces with the Whitefish Museum and the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society on exploring and documenting the A.A. Parker shipwreck in Lake Superior, where Jitka captured stunning underwater images and videos of the shipwreck. Jitka has dived waters ranging from the Great Lakes to caves in Florida and salt water wrecks in the Atlantic Ocean including the wreck of the Andrea Doria. Jitka has been diving since 2000, has been using rebreathers (closed circuit) mixed-gas technology since 2008, and has successfully used this technology to gain access to cold water shipwrecks at depths of up to 360 feet. A US Coast Guard Licensed Captain, she has been working and diving aboard Molly V since 2007 and has been Molly’s Owner and Captain since 2008. Jitka has been active in both terrestrial research and on-water searching for new discoveries for many years. She re-located the steamship L.R. Doty in the spring of 2010. This world-class discovery resulted in a National Geographic documentary the “Ghost Ships of the Great Lakes”, which has aired on national television. Jitka was the keynote speaker at the Ghost Ships Festival in 2011, where she shared her experiences discovering and diving the wreck of the L.R. Doty. In 2015 Captain Hanáková and her team discovered the Alice E. Wilds also by Milwaukee using Klein 3000 sidescan sonar system, a true discovery.

Becky Kagan Schott is a 5 time Emmy-Award winning underwater cameraman, photographer and technical Diving Instructor whose work can be seen on major networks including National Geographic, Discovery Channel, and The Travel Channel. She specializes in bringing back video from challenging aquatic environments from filming in caves, under ice, shipwrecks to sharks. Becky has over 23 years of diving experience logging thousands of hours underwater allowing her to be comfortable in a variety of environments. Filming underwater can be challenging and dangerous to divers with little experience in technical environments. Her decades of training and experience means she is comfortable, safe, and can work with a team to produce a stunning product. Her projects have taken her all over the world from the Arctic to Antarctic and many exciting locations in between. Her biggest passion is capturing haunting images of shipwrecks in the Great Lakes. She combines her artistic style with powerful stories of tragedy, mystery and survival to ignite the viewers imagination

Come join us for this exciting program! Call 800-635-1742 for more information.


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