Whitaker and Associates
Underwater Search * Survey * Salvage
fax (561) 575-6507
Seafloor Mapping Consultant
Background and Experience:
- 1963-69 - Designed and built a coal processing facility, including the railroad siding
at Haddix, KY. First hand experience in procurement of heavy equipment for tipple
operation and strip mine site, i.e.: cranes, front-end loaders and shovels. Also operated
and maintained thirteen (off road) coal dump trucks.
- 1969-70 - Supervised demolition and salvage operations using heavy equipment and trucks.
Gained knowledge in hauling and shipping heavy equipment.
- 1970-72 - Designed and set up the production line for aluminum extrusion factory,
including the purchasing of all machinery. Managed a fifteen man daytime shift, handled
ordering material, shipping and receiving, time sheets, and machinery repair supervision.
- 1972-81 - Started my own thermal forming plastic factory. Designed and set up the plant
and procured all machinery. Began engineering custom vacuum-formed plastic components for
major supply companies.
Joined the Marine Archaeology Advisory Council of the Broward County Historical
Commission. Actively excavated and surveyed historical sites in the county. Activities
included underwater photography, TV filming, griding photomosaic, and salvaging artifacts
(including cleaning and restoration).
- 1981-83 - Evaluated the production requirements, then procured the equipment necessary
to set up a thermal forming production line for a large corporation in Tampa, FL. Hired
and trained two shifts. Ordered raw materials, supervised production and shipping.
Purchased and EG&G 866 magnetometer and Aqua-Pulse metal detector. Designed and
built a water blower for moving large amounts of sand; and an air lift and water jets to
excavate archaeological sites. Also developed and used an air bag system (25-ton capacity)
Researched various salvage techniques used in marine historical sites. Developed and
refined techniques for using side sonar, sub bottom profiler, magnetometer, and aqua
pulse metal detector. Began research and development on the software to integrate
with a computer, side scan sonar, and magnetometer to produce three dimensional profile
graphs, surface plots and contour maps of target areas.
Worked as a consultant for Ribikoff Underwater Products on underwater video systems,
and underwater propulsion vehicle to carry a camera on a stable platform for producing
photo mosaics and pipeline surveys.
Formed my own company, Ocean Retriever, as an electronic underwater survey leasing
company. Began research and development on deep water R.O.V. for use on potential sites,
which led to work on designing the computer software for building an A.U.V (autonomous
- 1983-85 - Worked as a consultant for a heavy equipment salvage company. Procured
specific heavy equipment and supervised the repairs, moving and shipment of equipment to
buyers. Developed and built a 6" dredge system suitable for excavation of
environmentally sensitive marine salvage sites.
Participated with the Historical Society, at the U.S. Navys request, in locating
a highly sensitive historical deep-water target. Worked as a navigator on the 74 foot,
"Ursula Major" for a 1200 mile ocean trip Connecticut to Miami and return.
- 1985-86 - Worked as a project manager for an international marine contractor. Engineered
the construction projects at several sites, supervised a 10-15 man crew, procured special
equipment, handled the shipment of equipment and men to job sites.
- 1986-87 - Actively participated in the mobilization planning of search and recovery
projects. Shallow and deep water salvage such as: N.A.S.A shuttle recovery FSW 60-1200;
South African Airline FL# 295 recovery FSW 14,600; Central Americas search off Carolina
coast FSW 8,300. (FSW = feet standing water)
Designed and installed new hydraulic circuits for various search and salvage equipment.
Planned warehouse layouts. Engineered electrical re-wiring of the "Hut"
proposal. Handled specific equipment procurement.
- 1987-88 - Developed survey plan to locate two pleasure yachts for insurance company FSW
500, executed the plan which resulted in a video record of evidence for the insurance Co.,
Executed a magnetometer survey for an archaeological expedition on the Bahamas Banks,
FSW 12-15. Seaview, Los Angeles, California.
Sonar survey of hazards to navigation due to the sinking of the dredge
"Crest" at Fernandina Beach Harbor entrance FSW 50.
- 1988-89 - Rented equipment for archaeological search off the coast of Spain.
Rented equipment to Ocean Probe, Inc., Houston, TX.
Supplied numerous sonar and magnetometer rentals to Oceaneering International.
Planned, set up and operated search equipment for treasure ship in 1500 ft of water in
Dry Tortugas for Tampa group.
- 1989-91 - Search, locate and survey operation for numerous insurance investigations: Big
Pine Key, FL FSW 170; sonar search off Marathon, FL for speed boat FSW 150; sonar search
and location of 40 ft sail boat Key West, FL FSW 200.
Archaeological magnetometer searches and surveys northern Bahamas Banks
Magnetometer search and survey Spanish ship Puerto Rico FSW 60; sonar and magnetometer
search Spanish ships Tampa, FL FSW 750.
Helicopter location Sea of Japan FSW 3500.
Sonar search copper shipwreck Long Island, NY FSW 750.
Classified Navy search Kauai, HI.
Sonar location ships anchor St. Johns River, FL FSW 60.
Magnetometer and sonar search with two-man submarine for verification in the Gulf of
Mexico FSW 250.
Participated in search and location of W.W. II treasure ship off the coast of Oman
Director of field operations, search and excavation of 1750 shipwreck, Beaufort, NC.
Co-director of field operations, excavation of Spanish wreck, Jupiter, FL.
Consulted during the planning stages for several archaeological surveys and treasure
Developed specialized tools to be used on R.O.V. for deep-water salvage.
Developed and implemented computer collection program for magnetometer data, so
3-dimensional graphs could be made to allow for more precise interpretation of the data.
- 1991-92 - Search, locate and recover Cessna 421 off coast of Fernandina Beach, FL after
Coast Guard and insurance company couldnt locate. The family of the pilot called me
in. The plane was located using sonar 24 miles off the coast, bodies and plane were
Magnetometer survey and developed plot plan of anomalies off the coast of Melbourne, FL
Magnetometer searches and locate treasure ships off the Pacific
and Gulf sides of Panama.
Extensive magnetometer survey on the Bahamas Banks in search for Spanish
Sonar search and locate for insurance company boat sank off Lake Worth
Sonar location and mapping of pipe lines in Lake Maracibo, Venezuela.
Participated in the salvage of cement barge that had turned over after
being hit by a tug Lake Maracibo, Venezuela.
Continued on the search and excavation of 1750 shipwreck
- 1993-94 Sonar, sub-bottom survey for new pier construction in Gulf of Venezuela,
for oil refinery.
Magnetometer survey off Florida Keys FSW 90.
Sonar search and participated in television documentary for any Atlantis evidence or
more Bimini stones.
Magnetometer survey for sewage out-fall in Ponce, Puerto Rico FSW 150.
Magnetometer searches and locate treasure ships off Abbaco, Bahamas.
Magnetometer survey, location and identification of anomalies of a 10 square mile area
offshore the Florida coast.
Magnetometer survey of a near shore site of the 1715 Fleet, Florida coast.
Sonar survey for oil pipe laying off the coast of Barcelona, Venezuela FSW 100.
Continued on archaeological magnetometer search and survey on the northern Bahamas
Sonar survey for water out-fall Barcelona, Venezuela.
Classified Navy search off coast of South Carolina, Florida, Bahamas FSW 4000.
Sonar search, locate the point of impact and recovery of the cargo from an oil supply
boat collision at the mouth of the Mississippi River.
Magnetometer survey of Spanish wreck off coast of Ecuador FSW 20-60.
Preservation of numerous iron marine artifacts in electrolysis processing.
Sonar search to locate pilot boat lost off West Palm Beach, FL FSW 60.
Classified search for lost cargo in muddy lake.
Consultant in all stages for several treasure searches and excavations.
Sonar search and location of equipment off barge in Jacksonville Channel,
Magnetometer survey of offshore reefs in Colombian waters.
- 1995-96 Sonar, magnetometer survey of Spanish wreck off the Florida coast FSW
Remote control TV location of lost WW II relic off coastline of Belize FSW 450.
Magnetometer search for 16,000-lbs. ships anchor, Ft. Lauderdale, FL FSW 45.
Sonar, R.O.V. search for Spanish wreck in Mexican waters FSW 45-150.
Consultant for a group doing a small magnetometer survey off Cuba.
Rented equipment to Oceaneering technologies, Inc. for numerous surveys.
Planned and operated magnetometer search, survey for treasure ship off Philippines FSW
Co-director of field operations and supervised all electronic equipment for a 10 month
sonar search off shore Georgia and South Carolina coastline FSW 40-1800.
Magnetometer, sonar searches for numerous insurance investigations.
Sonar search for governmental agency, lost aircraft with contraband aboard off
Florida coast FSW 30-75.
Relocated and continued sonar search for Atlantic evidence or more Bimini stones.
Consultant for search, excavation of 400 year old timber on lake bottom of lake
Continued proofing, locating magnetometer targets of shipwrecks off Beaufort, NC. One
target identified as the "Queen Annes Revenge" the lost flagship of
Sonar search of coral reef for removal path of ocean freighter grounded on reef off
Miami Beach, FL.
Past Employment History:
- 1963-69 General manager of Haddix Coal Corp., Haddix, KY (owned by U.S. Coal of
- 1969-70 Project foreman for Big Chief, Inc., Ft. Lauderdale, FL supervised
demolition and salvage operations.
- 1970-72 Plant manager of Limelight Systems, Inc., Pompano Beach, FL
designed the production line, supervised the day shift, purchasing and shipment of profile
- 1972-81 Owner/President of Vacu-Form, Inc., Pompano Beach, FL R&D and
production of custom plastic vacuum formed components.
- 1981-83 Thermal-forming production manager of Excel Industries, Inc., Clearwater,
FL (subsidiary of Pet Milk Co.)
- 1983-85 Consultant for Machinery Parts, Inc., Pompano Beach, FL
- 1985-87 Project manager for Sea Tech International, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
- 1986-88 Special projects manager for Steadfast Oceaneering, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
(subsidiary of Oceaneering International, Houston, TX)
- 1987-present Survey and salvage engineer/technician J.L. Whitaker &
Associates, Jupiter, FL.
- 1961 graduated from Pine Crest Preparatory School, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- 1961-62 Broward Community College, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- 1962-63 Ohio State University, Columbus, OH (geology major)
- Born in Cleveland, Ohio January 14, 1942 Florida resident since May 1969
- Ran for sheriff on Breathitt County, KY in May 1969 (won primary)
- Packmaster, Cub Scout pack 190, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- President of Holiday park American Little League, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 1978-79
- Served on the city of Ft. Lauderdale, FL parks and Recreation Sports Youth Council
- Active member of Parents-Teachers Association 1970-87
- Member of Ft. Lauderdale High School advisory council 1981-85
- Member of Society of Plastic Engineers 1979-87
- Executive Board Member marine Archaeology Advisory Council Broward County
Historical Commission 9181-91 Treasurer 1984-85 Vice President
- Executive Board Member Rebikoff Institute of marine Technology 1989-91
Open water diver
Side scan sonar
Remote operated vehicles
Survey quality navigation
Salvage master 250 tons