This weekend’s Scuba Show in Long Beach, California will feature the Deepwater Diving Monument, in partnership with the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM).
One of the fine art bronze statues will be exhibited at booth number 710. The statue pays tribute to the Santa Barbara diving legends who pioneered mixed-gas diving, changing deepwater diving worldwide forever.
Small bronze statues are available to purchase, and the funds raised are going towards erecting a 10ft/3m bronze statue of a diver in Santa Barbara.
According to Santa Barbara City College Professor Emeritus and Monument Co-Chairman Don Barthelmess:
“Santa Barbara has always been a hub for the thousands of professional and recreational divers trained at the City College and UC Santa Barbara since 1968. This Monument is a testament to the entire California and worldwide diving industries. To get this project to completion, a very generous anonymous donor has stepped forward with a pledge to match all tax-deductible donations to the monument project up to $100,000! We need every diver’s support to finish this long over-due tribute and stunning public art!”
While fellow Monument co-chairman and Museum Founding Trustee Leslie Leaney stated:
“Our team is very excited as this is the first major public display in California of these fine art statuettes and pleased that we are able to also support The Scuba Show and meet some of the thousands of California divers who attend.”
And SBMM Executive Director Greg Gorga said:
“Deepwater commercial mixed gas diving began right here in the Santa Barbara Harbor, and this statue helps honor and celebrate the divers who took mankind to deeper and deeper depths. Their hard work and innovations benefited all of us, and I believe it is important that we recognize their achievements. We are thrilled to be a part of the Scuba Show.”
You can find out more about the Monument here, or check out a video of the evolution of the statue below.