Richard ‘Dick’ Clarke
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
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
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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