Legends of Diving Articles


Richard ‘Dick’ Clarke
Deep Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine Pioneer

Dick began his diving career in the British Royal Navy, where he served throughout the decade of the 1960’s. In 1969 he relocated to the Bahamas, and as program director at the International Underwater Explorers Society. It was

here that he honed his underwater photography skills (under the watchful and somewhat critical eye of the ever talented Dave Woodward!) and developed UNEXSO’s deep diving course.

In 1971 Dick became associate director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration funded ‘Hydrolab’ seabed habitat undersea living program, based at UNEXSO. Dick lived in habitats in the tropics and below Canadian ice. During this period he operated the only recompression treatment facility in the Bahamas Islands, treating a great many recreational divers and commercial spear fishermen. Upon joining the offshore commercial diving company Oceaneering

Dick Clarke

International, in 1976, Dick developed and introduced the Diver Medic Technician program, and served as its instructor (at Commercial Diving Center) through the early 1980’s.

Dick worked in the offshore commercial diving industry for eight years, becoming O.I.’s senior saturation diving supervisor and diver medic. In 1986 he started National Baromedical Services, a hyperbaric medicine management and consultancy, and continues to serve as its president. NBS has developed over 60 hospital-based hyperbaric medicine programs throughout North America and several other continents.

In 1987, he founded the Baromedical Research Foundation and continues to serve as its director. The BRF conducts multi-institutional and international clinical trials that investigate the role of HBO therapy in modern medical practice. In 1991 Dick introduced the Certified Hyperbaric Technologist program and served as the DMT/CHT certification board president through 1995. He returned as its president in 2009. Dick has served as a faculty member for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Diving Medical Officer Training Course for the past 25 years.

His clinical facility in Columbia, South Carolina, has trained over 6,000 health care professionals in undersea and hyperbaric medicine. Since 1996, Dick has served as the Divers Alert Network’s insurance program third party administrator.

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