The Northwest Shipwreck Alliance: Who We Are
Jeff Hummel and Matt McCauley in front of the burned hulk of former US Navy Curtiss SB2C-1A Helldiver WWII divebomber they recovered from 150 feet of water in Lake Washington back in 1984.
Jeff and Matt strike the same pose below with the same plane in November, 2023, at the Museum of WWII Aviation in Colorado Springs, CO. With its restoration near complete, it will take to the air in 2024 and be the second flying Helldiver of the model overall and only flying SB2C-1A variant Helldiver in the world!
An alumnus of Mercer Island High School, Seattle University (BA, Journalism) and the Seattle University School of Law, Matt has four decades of experience as a business owner, SCUBA diver, local historian, and writer. A certified SCUBA diver since 1979, Matt was co-defendant in US v. Hummel, et. al. (1984) a federal civil suit filed after he and Jeff Hummel salvaged the remains of a WWII naval dive-bomber from Lake Washington, and co-managed the recovery of four more WWII-era naval combat aircraft from Lake Washington in 1987, among other wreck projects over the years.
Matt has authored two books and hundreds of periodical and online articles on local history, co-directs KirklandHistory.org—an online, nonprofit information resource—and serves in various capacities in several local historical societies.
Jeff Hummel has been involved in marine projects since 1983; his earliest experience was recovering WWII aircraft from Lake Washington, near Seattle. In 1984, at the age of 20, Jeff was sued by the US Navy in a landmark case called US v. Hummel, et. al. Jeff organized a legal team that prevailed against the Navy in court and was awarded clear and free title to the plane. It is currently being restored and will fly again in the next year or so.
Jeff owns R/V SeaBlazer, an 80 ft. research vessel which is used for testing marine electronics and for ROV and side scan sonar operations. Jeff and his team have spent hundreds of hours honing their search and operational techniques. Jeff Hummel is one of the world’s leading experts in PC-based marine navigation systems, having both worked for Nobeltec (Acquired by Boeing in 2001) and Rose Point Navigation Systems, the US leader in commercial navigation systems. Jeff Hummel is an alumnus of Mercer Island High School and the University of Washington, where he majored in product design and also rowed on crew.
Duane holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington and has worked for major aerospace and computing firms in the Seattle area. Duane later embarked on a second career as an airline pilot. He has enjoyed many years of recreational boating in the coastal waters of Washington, British Columbia and Alaska. He enjoys tinkering with and building all things mechanical and electrical and those skills have been employed in a number of projects in underwater exploration in the Pacific Northwest.
Lynn’s maritime background began with work on live-aboard scuba diving boats in the Bahamas in the late ‘80s, where she earned a 100-ton US Coast Guard Master’s License. She decided to become a maritime lawyer and attended Tulane Law School. After graduating, Lynn interned for a marine insurer in Sweden, and then moved to Seattle and practiced maritime law and litigation for a decade. More recently, Lynn has been volunteering for a variety of nonprofit boards. Lynn is interested in re-imagining cities without conventional automobiles, supporting independent film, and protecting wild spaces. (And, of course, shipwrecks!)
Volunteer Management Team
Mike Brickman, Head of Diving Operations
Mike was originally SCUBA certified in 2009, in Seattle.
After a 2010 trip to the Great Barrier Reef, he was hooked! Upon return he earned his Advanced and Rescue right away and quickly logged a few hundred dives. In 2013 he completed Divemaster certification and in 2014 entered Technical “Tech” Diving. Mike became a PADI instructor as well as a closed circuit rebreather (CCR) diver in 2015. In 2016 he completed his Mod2 and Mod3 classes on the rebreather certifying him to 100m using trimix. This is where he fell in love with shipwrecks and returned to Seattle and has been diving with them ever since. In 2018 Mike became a TDI technical diving instructor. Mike has issued hundreds of certifications from beginner to technical over the last 10 years.
Mike is passionate about all things diving and wrecks. Especially in Lake Washington and around the sound. Name a wreck in the area and Mike has probably dived it or has it in his bucket list. His favorite wreck in the lake is YMS Unknown or the tugboat SL Dowell. His favorite wreck in the sound is the SS Governor, which he is one of probably about 100 people to have had the chance to dive. Mike’s favorite dive travel location is the WWI and WWII wrecks of Malta, but Truk Lagoon and the Great Lakes are close second and third place. There is always something new to dive and to learn!
When he’s not diving, Mike has worked in the tech industry for nearly 20 years including leadership positions at large companies.
Devon Carroll, Head of Media Productions
Devon is a dedicated media manager with a diverse background in diving, search and recovery operations, and news production. His journey into the world of media began during his service in the US Air Force in 2012 when he developed a profound passion for diving.
During his time in the Air Force, Devon discovered his love for exploring underwater environments and honed his skills as a diver. This passion led him to become deeply involved in search and recovery operations, where he utilized his expertise in diving and video production to locate and recover missing persons submerged underwater.
As a producer and camera person, Devon played a pivotal role in a large search and recovery YouTube channel. Specializing in underwater operations, he contributed significantly to the channel’s success by capturing compelling footage and assisting in the recovery of missing individuals. His dedication to this important work showcased his ability to effectively use media as a tool for positive impact and social change.
Transitioning into the realm of news production, Devon brings a unique perspective and skill set to his role as a media manager. His experience in diving and search and recovery operations has equipped him with valuable problem-solving abilities, attention to detail, and a commitment to accuracy and integrity in storytelling.
Today, Devon continues to channel his passion for media into his work as a non-profit media manager, leveraging his skills to amplify important stories and make a difference in the world. With a blend of creativity, compassion, and professionalism, he remains dedicated to using media as a powerful force for good in society.