Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Scuba Diving Pioneer Elmer Munk Dies

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of scuba diving pioneer Elmer Munk.

During the early days of scuba diving in the 1950s, Elmer Munk was so awed by the dazzling that he eventually quit his office job and opened a dive shop to share the undersea world with thousands of future divers.

The Venice resident, who was among the first class of diving instructors to be nationally certified by the YMCA in the 1950s and went on to train more than 3,500 divers, died Dec. 29, a week shy of his 77th birthday.

He suffered from lung disease in recent years, his family said.

"Diving has been the great love of my life..." he told the Herald-Tribune in 2004. "It's an amazing world down there."

One of his favorite sites was the turquoise waters off the island of Bonaire in the southern Caribbean. He brought so many of his dive students there over the years that island officials surprised him by naming a dive site after him -- Munk's Haven -- in the 1980s.

"He's one of the few people who has logged more than 6,000 dives," said his son, Jeff "Chip" Munk of Lyman, Wyo.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I received my PADI certification from Elmer back in the 70's & also worked for him at his Elmer's Watersports dive shop back then. He was an awesome person & boss. What a pioneer! Love to his family, Gary Nessel, Thornton, IL