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dean miller

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[*] posted on 6-19-2013 at 11:45 AM

Some thing for the people who dive...

Last week end in ceremonies at the SCUBA Show in Long Beach California I was recognized as the recipient of THE 2013 California SCUBA SERVICE AWARD. What follows was my bio in the program


A Diver's Diver

A diver from the past

A diver of the present

A diver for the future

Dr. Sam Miller,111's diving career began by chance in the 1940s. He contracted a serious eye infection while swimming in the local YMCA and his parents purchased a crude pair of swim goggles to protect his eyes so he could continue to participate in aquatic activities . After WW11 he obtained a Sea Net mask and few years later acquired a pair of Churchill fins. He became involved in an activity for which there were no full line manufactures, no dive shops, no training manuals, no organizations, no magazines, few books, no approved name and very few participants. Sam became a very active pioneer goggler!

At a very early age he discovered that recreational diving activities were all consuming. Since his college football days he has never taken up another hobby or participated in another sport. At his current age, it is suspected he's not going to change and begin to drown worms or chase little balls around a pasture.

After service as a USAF officer during the Korean war he returned to his beloved California and resumed his diving activities. By then the wet suit had been introduced and divers were beginning to populate the beaches. Sam migrated into the world of diving instruction via the first and only program available at that time, the the very prestigious and demanding LA County UW Instructor's program. A few years later he became a NAUI instructor followed by NASDS, SCIP, CMAS, PADI and a few others in the UW instructors alphabet soup.

Sam was honored for his involvement in recreational diving receiving the following honors; Outstanding Contributions to Underwater Instruction, 1963,(LA Co), Outstanding Underwater Instructor of the year, 1969,(LA Co), Over the Hill Gang, 1984, (NAUI), Diving Dinosaurs, 1986, (NAUI), Platinum Pro 5000 Diver 1993, (SSI), Who's Who of SCUBA Diving, 1993, (Academy of Marine Science and Undersea Research), Father of Free Diving and Spear Fishing, 2000, (Free Dive List) , West Coast Leader and Legend, 2005, (Dive Chronicles) Dive Legend, 2007 (Legends of Diving.)

Sam is proud of his involvement in the pioneering era of recreational diving . He developed a number of the early SCUBA training exercises, many of which are still being utilized today, he was involved in creating the world's first Advanced Diving Program, the LA Co ADP, and he was responsible for creation of the diver classification system which has been universally accepted by most certifying agencies.

His experience and diving knowledge led to him to consult for many of the early diving manufacturers. He evaluated prototype equipment for diving performance, maintainability and marketability. Some of the equipment was rejected and other items found their way into the mainstream of diving.

In his over six decades of diving he has been a member or an officer in a number of diving organizations. Notable among them were the Southern California Skin Divers, Long Beach Neptunes, Sea Sabres, LA Underwater Photographic Society, Orange County Underwater Photographic Society, Historical Diving Society and the California Classic Equipment Divers. As a member of the US Historical Diving Society he served on the founding board of directors and was HDS's first and only Director of Sport Diving, and in 2007 he co-founded of the Ohio based "Legends of diving."

Sam is a product of a past era when diving skill was judged by game taken. His personal best are; Lobster 17Lbs 4 Oz, Halibut 38 Lbs, Yellow Tail 27 Lbs, White Sea Bass 49Lbs, Black Sea Bass 345 Lbs.

As a life long bibliophile, Sam has the indisputable largest and most complete recreational diving library in the US and possibly the world. Consisting of over 2000 historical and modern volumes, as well as the majority of American diving periodicals beginning with the very rare Skin Diver magazine, volume 1, December 1951, as well as most diving catalogs from 1951 to 2000.

During his life time he has published numerous articles, has had four dedicated diving columns in local and national publications, and authored the first US weekly newspaper dive column. He was selected by Skin Diver Magazine as the first "guest" editor. He also appeared on a cover and published numerous articles for that publication. Only person in the history of Skin Diver Magazine to receive all three honors

As a recognized recreational diving professional he has appeared in a court of law numerous times as an expert witness for diving related litigation . His most notable appearance was the 1964 Toso Vs Burns trial which established the rights of a diver displaying the then new diver's flag.

Now retired to a beach community in central California where he stays actively involved in the diving community by writing occasional articles, doing historical research and is a regular presenter at the annual San Luis Obispo Sheriffs Search and Recovery Professional Diving Conference.

He is married to Betty, a college president and a vintage diver. They have a combined family of five children, who are also long term divers, and four grand children who are eagerly looking forward to being introduced to the sport.
Yes I have been traveling to Baja since December 1951 and have seen many many changes

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Super Nomad

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[*] posted on 6-19-2013 at 01:41 PM

That is very cool!

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Elite Nomad


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[*] posted on 6-19-2013 at 02:11 PM

Congratulations, sir, for your passion and the recognition you deserve.:saint:

Don't believe everything you think....
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Senior Nomad

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[*] posted on 6-20-2013 at 04:51 PM

A true "Waterman" well deserved honor. Got a picture of that huge lobster??

Mexico!! Where two can live as cheaply as one.....but it costs twice as much.....
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David K
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[*] posted on 6-20-2013 at 05:27 PM

Wonderful... Thank you for sharing this!

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