Multimedia Collection

Swirling Dark Water: A Century of Diving in Oregon

50 minutes
VM977 .S951 1998

The efforts of Oregon's pioneering divers have been heroic, daring and dangerous. Their work has benefited almost every Oregonian, and yet, they are little known. They work in the shadow of other industries, and yet, are indispensable to those industries. Their stories stand among the most adventurous of sea sagas, and yet, are seldom told.

Developments in diving in Oregon parallel events that happened elsewhere, however, some aspects are uniquely Oregon. Snag diving, which began on the lower Columbia River in the 1870's, is an occupation still practiced today and peculiar to the region. The diving conditions are adverse and it has been said that if you can dive in the Columbia River you can dive anywhere. Oregon's commercial divers are well respected within the industry for their skills and abilities.

Recreational diving in Oregon has its origins in the Great Depression. It grew with changes in diving technology and today supports dive shops and clubs in most major Oregon cities. Many Oregon sport divers have received national recognition and through sport diving professional diving fields such as Search and Rescue Diving came into being.

Swirling Dark Water tells the story of the men and women who pioneered Oregon's diving industry. From divers of the hand-cranked-compressor era to today's commercial, professional, and recreational divers, it is an exciting story.

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