The Journal of Diving History and Historical Diving Society USA will be
gathering for a Santa Barbara Divers Reunion, beginning with a welcoming no-host cocktail and buffet reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way.
The next day’s program at 1 p.m. Oct. 22 will feature Patrick Lahey, Triton Submersibles president, presenting “Human Exploration of the Hadal Zone- The Ocean’s Deepest Frontier.”
The evening program from 6 to 10 p.m. will feature the Introduction of the Deepwater Diving Monument Project, which will be installed in the Santa Barbara Harbor area in 2024 to commemorate Santa Barbara’s rich diving history as the birthplace of deepwater diving technology.
Santa Barbara abalone divers revolutionized worldwide diving technology many decades ago with the introduction of mixed-gas diving technology, training infrastructure and equipment manufacturing.
Worldwide, more than 80% of deep-diving life-support helmets used today are manufactured in Santa Barbara. The life-sized, fine-art bronze sculpture is a gift to the Santa Barbara Waterfront Department and is being funded by the sale of 22-inch fine-art bronze statuettes, which are exact replicas of the larger statue.
The first of the fine-art bronze sculptures will be unveiled at the event by Monument Projects Ltd., which has been contracted for the project.
Don Barthelmess, past president of SBMM and professor emeritus of Santa Barbara City College’s diving program, is a volunteer for the project.
“This is a long overdue dream of the diving industry to honor the pioneers whose shoulders we all stood upon in our careers,” Mr. Barthelmess said in a news release. “They advanced deep-sea intervention and made it safer for us today.”
Local historian Leslie Leaney is the co-founder of the Historical Diving Society in Santa Barbara and volunteers with Mr. Barthelmess.
“When you look at the last century, when you look at the home of commercial diving, you look to Santa Barbara,” he said.
The project has received widespread community and industry support and has completed multiple city reviews and approvals earlier this past year.
Tickets for the events are limited to 120 persons at $75.To purchase, go to www.eventbrite.com/e/santa-barbara-divers-reunion-tickets-386110124777. For more information, visit deepwaterdivingmonument.com or contact Mr. Barthelmess at 805-708-0621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.