April 24th, 2020. One Person’s Brush With History

The other day, I received an e mail from Dr. Guy Rowinski who related to me a very interesting story about a life changing event that he experienced as a young man visiting Florida in 1969. Here is his story in his own words:

“I was a classmate at a university in Ohio with the son of Real Eight member Harry Cannon. His name was also Harry. In December of 1969 I was a guest of the Cannon’s for Christmas break. Since I was a diver, Harry (Jr.) and I headed for Islamorada to meet the guys. It was great. We stayed on the Grifon and I got out and dove the reef with Bob Marx (Sir Robert Marx). It was awesome, although I did not see any treasure.

Unfortunately, after we came in, we were hanging out in the marina while the crew was filling tanks with a big air compressor (a big old wheezy unit) that was sitting near the docks at the marina.  Suddenly, the compressor blew up with a tremendous explosion. It threw shrapnel everywhere. I lost half of my foot on the spot. I don’t believe anyone else was injured and I was standing about fifty feet away. I had to have a tourniquet applied. Bob Marx and a couple of the fellows got me to a little clinic not far from the marina. From there I went by ambulance to Miami where I was to spend a couple of weeks before flying home. While in the hospital I got to meet most of the principals of the company who I had not met yet. Everyone was great. A few months later I got my draft notice and almost got sent off to Vietnam. The injury to my foot forestalled that adventure.

I stayed in touch with the Cannons and visited them for most of 1972 in Indian Harbor Beach. I don’t think that the Colonel (Harry Cannon) was actively involved in Real Eight’s treasure salvage operation, if it was still going on then.

Dr. Guy Rowinski is a Psychologist in private practice in Columbus, Ohio. Many thanks to him for sharing his story with us.

Ben Costello, Director.

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