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NEW EVIDENCE ABOUT SINKING OF EDMUND FITZGERALD

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THUNDER BAY, ON  ----   March 29, 2010  -----   The exciting new yap films Edmund  Fitzgeraldtelevision series, DIVE DETECTIVES, launches on History Television in Canada on Wednesday, March 31 at 6:00 pm ET/PT (repeated at 11:00 pm ET/PT) with the episode The Edmund Fitzgerald. This premiere episode reveals new evidence that dramatically changes the accepted version of events relating to the sinking of the US freighter on Lake Superior in 1975 – a saga made famous in Gordon Lightfoot’s iconic song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”.

DIVE DETECTIVES follows father-and-son professional divers and explorers Mike and Warren Fletcher on their quest to unravel mysteries that lie beneath the waves, from missing ships to missing treasure…

In the series, shot in stunning HD, the Fletchers scour the world’s oceans and seas. They investigate the iconic sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald on Lake Superior (immortalized in song by Gordon Lightfoot); hunt for missing American submarines lost near the Philippines; and search the deadly Mekong River in Laos for looted royal treasure.  They seek the identity of a mysterious modern “Ghost Ship” in a part of the Caribbean famous for smuggling; dive the South Pacific for discarded WWII atom bombs; and join a major expedition to get inside two of the best preserved wooden ship wrecks in the world for the first time since they sank two hundred years ago.

In DIVE DETECTIVES, cold cases are re-opened, ships found, and loved ones finally laid to rest, in a dramatic, action-packed series.

Mike and Warren Fletcher have located previously undiscovered shipwrecks around the world. Their travels have taken them to more than 30 different countries and many remote locations. Diving as deep as 330 feet, they have worked closely with the Canadian, U.S. and Chilean navies and have collaborated with marine archaeologists in Canada, the U.S., Germany, Estonia, Poland, Bermuda, Finland and Japan. They have performed many of their dives on highly sensitive and archeologically significant wreck sites.

 Canadian singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot intends to change the lyrics of his iconic song, “THE WRECK OF THE EDMUND FITZGERALD” thanks to new evidence presented in the yap films documentary “Edmund Fitzgerald”, the premiere episode of yap’s new TV series DIVE DETECTIVES, launching on History Television Wednesday, March 31 at 6 pm ET/PT, repeated at 11pm ET/PT. Details of the lyric changes have not yet been finalized by Mr. Lightfoot.

In presenting its filmed investigation into the fate of the EDMUND FITZGERALD, yap films wanted to use Gordon Lightfoot’s classic song about the mysterious sinking of the ship in 1975 on Lake Superior. After all, Lightfoot’s iconic song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” is famous across Canada and around the world, and poignantly captures all the drama and emotion of the terrible night the ship went down with all hands on board. In 1976, the song reached #2 on the Billboard chart and remains the second highest-rated single (after “Sundown”) Mr. Lightfoot has ever released.

Since then, Mr. Lightfoot has stayed in touch with many of the families of the ship’s crew who perished, and knows the anguish they felt not only at losing their loved ones but as a consequence of the official investigation’s suggestion that crew were responsible for the sinking by not securing the ship’s hatches.

Over the years, Mr. Lightfoot has rarely granted requests from film & television producers to use his song, despite many requests. Mr. Lightfoot graciously agreed to screen yap’s film and, moved by what he saw, immediately granted permission for his song to be used in the film.

But beyond that, Mr. Lightfoot has said that he intends to change the lyrics to "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" as a result of the new findings revealed in the film, which exonerates the crew from blame for the ship's tragic sinking. The film demonstrates that there is little evidence that an alleged failure of the crew to secure the ship's hatches caused the sinking.

Mr. Lightfoot said, “I’m sincerely grateful to yap films and their program THE DIVE DETECTIVES for not only making a terrific film about the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald but particularly for putting together compelling evidence that the tragedy was not a result of crew error. This finally vindicates, and honours, not only all of the crew who lost their lives, but also the family members who survived them. As a result, I was pleased to grant them permission to use my song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” in the program, one of the rare instances in which I’ve allowed this, despite numerous requests over the years.”

The specific line under review is: “…at 7PM the main hatchway gave in”. Mr. Lightfoot intends to rewrite it for future performances of the song because the documentary demonstrates that hatch failure was not the cause of the sinking. On hearing the news that Lightfoot intended to alter the lyrics, Elliott Halpern said "this may be the first time that new evidence uncovered in a documentary resulted in a change to the lyrics of an iconic song."

The exciting new yap films television series, DIVE DETECTIVES, launches on History Television in Canada on Wednesday, March 31 at 6:00 pm ET/PT (repeated at 11:00 pm ET/PT) with the episod

Executive producers of DIVE DETECTIVES are Pauline Duffy and Elliott Halpern. The Dive Detectives are Michael and Warren Fletcher. Series director is Jeff Vanderwal. Directors are Michael Morrow (episodes Submarine Graveyard, Lost A-Bombs, and River Buddha), Victor Kushmaniuk (episodes The Edmund Fitzgerald and Ghost Ship), and Jeff Vanderwal (episode Warships Down);  Editors are Jason Gatt, Michael Matheson, Mark Stokes and Mike Fuller;  Narrator is Hamish McEwan;  Production Manager is Mary Petryshyn; Directors of Photography are Russell Gienapp and Ken Ng; Underwater Photography by Warren and Michael Fletcher; Sound by Peter Sawade, Stuart French and Mike Kennedy; Composers are Alex Khaskin and David Krystal; Titles and Graphics are by Acme Pictures Inc. For Canwest: Production Executive Nick Crowe and V-P, Factual Content, Michael Kot.

DIVE DETECTIVES is produced by yap films in association with Canwest and National Geographic Channel, with the participation of the Canadian Television Fund created by the Government of Canada and the Canadian Cable Industry, the Rogers Cable Network Fund, and with the assistance of the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit.

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