Pioneer Scuba Diver

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  • #1
Integral
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Main Question or Discussion Point

I gotta share this, even though it is not all that.

I just got back from a family gathering and talked with my older brother for the first time since Christmas. This summer he visited a Diving museum in Florida, across one wall was large picture of the first 9 Navy divers. The ones who developed the dive tables and pretty much learned how to dive by trial and error. Standing in the middle of the picture was our Uncle Everett. I had done the arithmetic and knew that he was a early diver. I can remember when he go out of the Navy in 1954, he was UDT, the precursor to the SEALs. If he got out in '54 he must have been diving by '51 or so. I know that Cousteau developed the SCUBA system in the late '40s. Just from that I knew he was early, I did not however that he was in the first group of divers.

My brothers and I are planning a trip to Crescent City to attempt to record some of his memories next week. My brother said that the museum was very exited to learn that he was still alive. They had tried, but have been unable to locate him.
 

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  • #2
lisab
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Wow!

When I first learned to dive, I learned that those dive tables were developed using SEALs, and to give yourself a wide margin of error, unless you're as fit as a SEAL (haha).

That's a great story, Integral....do you have any of his dive gear? Or maybe any pics?
 
  • #3
turbo
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Cool! I have an older relative who did kinda so-so in school according to those in a position to know, but really shone when he joined the Navy, and became an expert practitioner and later a senior instructor in underwater welding.

My nephew was the top-rated Chief on the Connie for years (among 124 Chiefs on that floating city) and finally elected to take a Warrant Officer commission and additional training so he could move up, and he is now in propulsion in about the smallest ship in the group. I'm proud of him. In a more egalitarian organization, he would be heading for flag-rank right now. He is that sharp and that dedicated.

Integral, you were talking about an older relative, and I appreciate finding out stuff like that about my own family and hope that I didn't hijack that. I pray that other members of my family can see the worth of my nephew's duty. It will be a valued recollection passed down to the coming generations - a kid who joined the Navy on graduation and worked his way up through the grades until he earned a commission as a Warrant officer. He might be lower on the pecking-order than the kids who went through officer training, but I know who I'd rather have at my back when things are falling apart.
 
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mgb_phys
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The french and italians used scuba (although the name wasn't invented yet) in the 20s - interestingly closed circuit rebreathers were used before simple open-circuit scuba.
 
  • #5
mgb_phys
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When I first learned to dive, I learned that those dive tables were developed using SEALs, and to give yourself a wide margin of error, unless you're as fit as a SEAL (haha).
I worked with some of the people doing the modeling for some new dive tables.
The us navy tables are among the first and have the most practical data but some of the values owe more to simplicity than physiology.
60ft for 60minutes is the basis - because it was thought navy divers could remember that, similarly for an ascent rate of 60ft/min.

The PADI tables are basicaly the same but everything is moved one box up (reducing the limits)
 
  • #6
Borek
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I have read that at least one version of these early tables (british ones?) was prepared with goats being subjects in decompression chambers. Seems like goats are much more sensitive to decompression sickness.
 
  • #7
Ivan Seeking
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I gotta share this, even though it is not all that.

I just got back from a family gathering and talked with my older brother for the first time since Christmas. This summer he visited a Diving museum in Florida, across one wall was large picture of the first 9 Navy divers. The ones who developed the dive tables and pretty much learned how to dive by trial and error. Standing in the middle of the picture was our Uncle Everett. I had done the arithmetic and knew that he was a early diver. I can remember when he go out of the Navy in 1954, he was UDT, the precursor to the SEALs. If he got out in '54 he must have been diving by '51 or so. I know that Cousteau developed the SCUBA system in the late '40s. Just from that I knew he was early, I did not however that he was in the first group of divers.

My brothers and I are planning a trip to Crescent City to attempt to record some of his memories next week. My brother said that the museum was very exited to learn that he was still alive. They had tried, but have been unable to locate him.
Obviously you come from a long line of deep thinkers!
 
  • #8
lisab
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Astronuc
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I gotta share this, even though it is not all that.

I just got back from a family gathering and talked with my older brother for the first time since Christmas. This summer he visited a Diving museum in Florida, across one wall was large picture of the first 9 Navy divers. The ones who developed the dive tables and pretty much learned how to dive by trial and error. Standing in the middle of the picture was our Uncle Everett. I had done the arithmetic and knew that he was a early diver. I can remember when he go out of the Navy in 1954, he was UDT, the precursor to the SEALs. If he got out in '54 he must have been diving by '51 or so. I know that Cousteau developed the SCUBA system in the late '40s. Just from that I knew he was early, I did not however that he was in the first group of divers.

My brothers and I are planning a trip to Crescent City to attempt to record some of his memories next week. My brother said that the museum was very exited to learn that he was still alive. They had tried, but have been unable to locate him.
Very cool! :cool: Definitely get his recollections on tape or other e-medium.
 
  • #10
Chi Meson
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I worked with some of the people doing the modeling for some new dive tables.
The us navy tables are among the first and have the most practical data but some of the values owe more to simplicity than physiology.
60ft for 60minutes is the basis - because it was thought navy divers could remember that, similarly for an ascent rate of 60ft/min.

The PADI tables are basicaly the same but everything is moved one box up (reducing the limits)
I live close to the Groton ("New London") Sub base where the Navy did a lot of research on those dive tables. The old dive tower has been dismantled, but I remember driving past it while growing up. http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/6262/divetowr.jpg".
 
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  • #11
mgb_phys
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I have read that at least one version of these early tables (british ones?) was prepared with goats being subjects in decompression chambers. Seems like goats are much more sensitive to decompression sickness.
It's was the British physiologist JBS Haldane (in about 1900-1910?) - he used goats because as he said 'goats are very democratic' when they are in distress they let everybody know it.
 
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What a great post! Just out of curiosity, did he continue to dive as a civilian?
 
  • #13
Integral
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No, to the best of my knowledge he never dove again after getting out of the Navy. He is now 80 and suffering from Alzheimers. My brother who has talked to him recently says that he does pretty well with old stuff, not so hot on yesterday.
 
  • #14
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Andreas Rechnitzer and Donald Walsh were often visitors to our house when I was growing up. Andy oversaw the record deep Mariana Trench mission while Don rode the bathyscaphe down 35,761 feet.
 

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