We are proud to sponsor the Ed Fouhy Distinguished Speaker Series in order to engage the community in exploring significant and thought-provoking topics.  


As a communications professional, Edward M. Fouhy brought the world and its stories to the American public.  For the Center's Marconi’s Marconi-RCA Wireless Museum, Ed wrote and produced two videos explaining the importance of wireless radio communications to the rescue of RMS Titanic survivors and the outcome of the Battle of the Atlantic during WWII.  The Ed Fouhy Distinguished Speaker Series is a limited schedule of special presentations designed to promote knowledge and understanding of history and world events, with a special focus on the science and development of communications technology and its profound effect on our lives. 


On October 15, 2015, the Ed Fouhy Distinguished Speaker Series was introduced by Mr. Morton Dean, distinguished journalist and broadcaster formerly of CBS and ABC News.  In keeping with our museum’s exhibit theme that year, and with Ed’s fine work documenting Chatham Radio’s role in WWII, our inaugural speaker was Professor Thomas Perera, PhD, who presented "Clandestine Radio Operations In World War II". 


The Chatham Marconi Maritime Center welcomes Capt. Morgan Turrell, Acting Director, National Transportation Safety Board Office of Marine Safety, to its Ed Fouhy Distinguished Speaker Series for a virtual presentation. 

Thursday, August 27 at 7:00 PM.  



Cargo Vessel El Faro.  Photo courtesy Capt. William Hoey via NTSB.

Capt. Morgan Turrell, Acting Director,

NTSB Office of Marine Safety

At the turn of the 20th century, wireless telegraphy ended the isolation of mariners at sea.  Radio communication allowed mariners to receive warnings of bad weather and enabled distressed ships to call for help.  This year, Chatham Marconi Maritime Center features “Radio to the Rescue”, a series of fascinating programs and exhibits highlighting the valuable lessons learned from sea disasters, lessons that have long been applied to improve crew safety and save countless lives.  


El Faro was a 40-year old United States-flagged cargo ship crewed by U.S. merchant mariners.  On September 29, 2015 El Faro departed Jacksonville, Florida, bound for Puerto Rico on her regular supply run with a cargo of 391 shipping containers, 294 trailers and cars, and a crew of 33 people.  Two days later, she encountered Category 3 Hurricane Joaquin off the Bahamas, with swells of 20 to 30 feet and winds over 92 mph.  Radio contact with the vessel was lost shortly after 7:30 a.m. on October 1.  Search and rescue operations were unable to locate the ship or any survivors.  On October 5, the vessel was declared lost.  On October 7, the U.S. Coast Guard ceased search operations and the National Transportation Safety Board’s work began.


How did a 790-ft. vessel sink with the loss of its entire crew in this era of satellite communication, regular inspections and required safety equipment?  Our distinguished speaker, Capt. Morgan Turrell, will explain the process involved in answering that question including how the NTSB, U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies cooperate to investigate and prevent marine disasters.  He will also describe the NTSB’s involvement in other recent major maritime incidents.



Capt. Turrell began working at the National Transportation Safety Board in September of 2003 and was named Acting Director, Office of Marine Safety in March 2020.  Previously he served as Deputy Director, Chief of Investigations, and Senior Marine Accident Investigator.  He is responsible for the investigations of and report development for Major Marine Casualties in the United States, or on U.S. vessels worldwide.  He led the agency’s investigation of the El Faro sinking, including the retrieval of its voyage data recorder. Capt. Turrell previously worked for Princess Cruises where he was Vice President of Marine Investigations.  After graduating from the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1987, he served as a licensed deck officer aboard a variety of commercial vessels including tankers, container ships, roll-on/roll-off, and bulk carriers.  Capt. Turrell was Project Manager at the University of Washington’s School of Oceanography and Master of its research vessel, earned an MBA from Pepperdine University, and is licensed by the United States Coast Guard as Master of ocean vessels of any gross tons.



Virtual Presentation, Thursday Evening June 25, 7:00 PM

Chatham Marconi Maritime Center Welcomes Jack Binns’ Granddaughter,

Virginia U. Lovelace MD, to its Ed Fouhy Distinguished Speaker Series



JANUARY 23, 1909“It was around 5:40 in the morning.  Jack Binns had just gone to bed after a long night at the wireless key of the Royal Mail Steamship "Republic" when he heard the foghorn grow more urgent and felt the ship slow down and reverse its engines.  Then came a great crashing sound and half of his wireless cabin was ripped away.  Had he still been sitting at his key, he would have been killed!  Thus began one of the greatest rescues at sea coordinated with the help of Marconi's new technology, wireless…” from http://www.jackbinns.org .


This season, Chatham Marconi Maritime Center introduces “Radio to the Rescue”, a series  of special events, fascinating speakers and new exhibits at the Marconi-RCA Wireless Museum.  At the turn of the 20th century, radio communication ended the isolation of mariners at sea.  Valuable lessons learned from the “Republic” rescue and from subsequent sea disasters help keep people safe today, and have saved countless lives.  


The Center leads off its 2020 season with a virtual presentation in its Ed Fouhy Distinguished Speaker Series.  Virginia Utermohlen Lovelace will tell the personal story of her grandfather, Jack Binns, who was the radio operator aboard the RMS “Republic” in 1909.  The ship was equipped with Marconi’s new wireless telegraph system.  Binns was the first to use wireless to organize an open-sea rescue after the “Republic” was rammed in the cold January fog by the SS “Florida” just south of Nantucket.




Virginia Utermohlen Lovelace, MD

obtained her undergraduate degree in physics from Washington University in St. Louis,

and her medical degree from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. 

She was appointed a post-doctoral fellow at Rockefeller University, and recently retired

from Cornell University where she was an Associate Professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences,

College of Human Ecology. 

More background about both the topic and speaker may be found at http://www.jackbinns.org .





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