Legends of Diving Articles

 

Dr. John Clement
The Diving Doctor on the Hydrolab

As the story goes?.A long time ago there was a Brit who came to Grand Bahama Island and his name is Dr. John Clement.

No one can state it better than John himself when he states, "It is quite a long story." When John decided he wanted to learn how to dive, there wasn?t a

British Sub Aqua Club nearby where we could take lessons, however, there was a special branch run by the Fire Department of the experimental Atomic Energy Power plant at Winfrith, Dorset. He asked if he could train with them, and they agreed. However, they had to drive 40 miles to the nearest swimming pool for the training. That did not deter John, and he passed the pool work and completed the open water dives in the Dorset shore with beautiful clear water. This took place in 1963-1964. At that time the Secretary told John that he would process his credentials. However, the Secretary went off diving alone off the rocks


Dr. John Clement

of Portland Bill, the most notorious tidal race area in England. Tragically, he disappeared while doing so.

As a young doctor in England with a wife and two young children John was encouraged to travel by his partners, so in 1965, they set off for the warmer waters of Freeport, where he was employed as an Out Island doctor. Here he has held his practice all of his life.

In 1965, UNEXSO was rapidly taking shape. John promptly signed up as a Century Club Member. He worked with Jock Mayoll setting the World record free dive at UNEXSO. In Freeport, no one cared whether he had a c-card or not. He recalls Jack Bracket giving him a UNEXSO card which he carried with him when travelling, however, he never had an official qualification card.

John is loved by everyone because of his giving and caring spirit for people. He is an MD and is one of the first doctors in the world to do hyperbaric medicine. He had his own chamber and treated numerous divers. In one day alone, he treated 75 divers with the bends. John worked on the Hydrolab Project in the 1970?s and supervised the recompression chamber for UNEXSO for approximately 20 years. John is a very well known doctor on Cancer research and has had books written about him. He still practices medicine to this day.

Ben Rose states that he and John dove together since the mid 1960s diving several thousands of dives. They have been life long friends, Diving and working on projects in the Bahamas.

John has dove all his life with just a piece of paper stating that "he has successfully completed a 3-hour Check-Out Program and is entitled to the use of SCUBA on "guided" reef expeditions. He could safely dive to a depth of 201ft under close supervision and proved himself adaptable to the Submarine environment but could not rent equipment.

Recently after 60 years and Thousands of Dives he got his c-card. He helped set the standards and save divers from the bends he is a true Diving Doctor.

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