2002 Beneath The Sea

Page I

All images on this page 2002 by Christina Young.

These are pictures from Beneath The Sea, the world's largest consumer dive show.  The 2002  Beneath The Sea took place at the New Jersey Meadowlands Exposition Center, just outside of New York City, March 22-24, 2002.  These pictures were taken on March 23, 2002.

DISCLAIMER:  The pictures on these pages are primarily of notable people in wreck and technical diving.  Just because someone's picture is here does NOT mean in any way that I condone, endorse or support their diving skills or practices, ethics, business practices, how they run their boat, what they post on the Internet, etc. etc. etc.  I feel compelled to say this because the technical diving community seems to be very fragmented, political, at each other's throats half the time, and getting more so.  Also - some of my comments may be a bit tongue-in-cheek, so don't take everything so seriously!

At any rate, Beneath The Sea is the one time of year in which everyone sets aside their differences just for a couple of days, and has a big party before the dive season begins.

John Allen of Northeast Scuba Supply near Philadelphia, one of the largest dive shops on the east coast.  They also have a large compressor dealership.
Me and some of the gang from Lynnhaven Dive Center in Virginia Beach.  Richie, Internet diving addict JT Barker  ;-), myself, and Rick Atkins.
This is Tom Sawicki, also from Lynnhaven.  He practices a diving technique known as "DIR".  JT told me that it stands for "D*** In Rear", but I think he might have made that up.

This is me and Bernie Chowdhury, who publishes Immersed magazine and wrote the book The Last Dive, about the tragic deaths on the U-869.

This is Tony Piscitelli and Capt. JT.  Tony is one of the captains on the Long Island dive boat Eagles Nest.

This is Dan Berg of Aqua Explorers.  He invented Wreck Valley.

Rodney Nairne of Silent Submersion shows off his UV line of deep scooters.  He said he's real proud of the Gavin scooters as well, because they copied everything he did.

Bart Malone admiring a Silent Submersion.  He's thinking about adding one of these to the dive gear he already carries.

Steve Gatto and Tom Packer with Bart.  These guys go way back to the early days of Northeast technical wreck diving, with the pioneering Atlantic Wreck Divers club.  This is one of the rare moments during the show in which Steve and Tom weren't in the Sartek booth looking at lights (I think they spent over 4 hours at Sartek).

JT Barker with Lamar Hires and Pete Nawrocki of Dive Rite.

Denis Murphy, Skip and Dave of Blue Water Divers.

JT shops for a new rig in the OMS booth.  He admires their 100 lb wings with the cool-looking rubber bands.

George Place working the Sartek booth.  He recommends their HID lights for signaling passing fishing boats far out at sea.

This is Terry Tysall, the first person to dive the Edmund Fitzgerald with scuba gear in Lake Superior.

Capt. Al Pyatak, current owner and operator of the dive boat Sea Lion, the boat of the late Northeast wreck diving pioneer George Hoffman.

Here's some trouble!  Petey Wohlleben, Steve Brozyna, Joe Ferrali and Mike Trapani, all in the same crowd.  They're all great divers who are fun to have on offshore expeditions (they provide the amusement).

This is Bob Sherwood of the GUE division of Halcyon looking on as Mikey Trapani points out the features of some gear to Joe.

This is John and Bonnie Yurga.  They are ocean liner fanatics.

Dave Sutton shows off the sleek, new Italian semi-closed circuit rebreather, the Azimuth.  He's already taken it down to the Titanic - 50 times.  ;-)  The Azimuth uses all standard, easy-to-find Mares fittings, regulators and parts.  Rumor has it that they are thinking about converting this to closed-circuit, in which case I suspect it could be a major competitor to the Inspiration for "mass market" rebreathers, if there is such a thing.

Dave shows me his new set of doubles.  One of the cylinders is for oxygen and the other for diluent.  They are mounted on a standard metal back plate.  He uses them with a front-mounted breathing loop assembly taken from an Italian oxygen rebreather (the bailout rebreather he was talking about at the show) to make a fully-closed, low-profile recreational rebreather.

This is Bob Wilson, training director of Blue Water Divers in Ramsey, NJ.  He likes to be towed out to the dive site over the side of the boat with just his sweats on while hanging onto doubles manifolds on the other side of the gunwale.  Great sport, he says!  Too cold for me, though.

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