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HomeScuba DivingMichael Emmerman Awarded DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year Honor

Michael Emmerman Awarded DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year Honor

Michael Emmerman, a former president of the Northeast Chapter of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society (UHMS) has been awarded the honor of 2017 DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year.

Throughout his career, Emmerman has researched the safety of flying after diving, to the implementation of the first dive computers. A lot of dive safety protocols have his research as a foundation. He has also driven research to improve decompression algorithms.

Emmerman has also helped create the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA) Diving Manuals, as well as materials for the National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR). His research into dive computer technology held the first manufacturers accountable in the interest of diver safety, and became the basis for the industry standard technology in use today.

DAN President and CEO Bill Ziefle says:

“There was a tremendous range of remarkable individuals in this year’s nominee pool. Among them, Michael’s lifelong dedication to the advancement of dive safety and research into dive science made him particularly remarkable. His drive to make diving safer, and to educate and train the next generation of divers in support of DAN’s mission makes him a credit to the industry. We are delighted to name him DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year.”

In response, Emmerman said:

“I am truly honored and humbled to be recognized by DAN and my colleagues in the diving community at large. I am also grateful for having been allowed to play a role in DAN’s mission to foster an environment of safety in diving and care for our fellow divers. I am accepting this award as an individual, but the award truly recognizes all of my colleagues within the diving community that have shared in keeping the ‘flame of concern’ burning brightly. None of us ever get anything done without the support and collaboration of like-minded colleagues. The quest to find scientifically supportable answers to questions we are faced with in diving physiology and diving safety is never ending. My hope is that the ‘flame of concern’ continues to burn brightly within the diving community!”

For nearly three decades, Divers Alert Network (DAN) and Rolex have collaborated to award one of the most prestigious honors in the diving industry – the DAN/Rolex Diver of the Year Award. What began as a grant to DAN in the late 1980s has grown to be an amazing list of true pioneers from the diving industry.

Emmerman will receive his award at the 2017 Beneath the Sea Dive Show in Secaucus, New Jersey, on March 24-26th, where he will be presented with a Rolex Dive Watch. Additionally, Rolex will donate US$10,000/9424 Euros to DAN to support essential safety initiatives such as medical research, safety education, and first-aid training.

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.