Legends of Diving Articles


George Purifoy
Notable Shipwreck Discoverer

On September 14, 2008, we lost a true pioneer in the diving world, George Purifoy. Purifoy loved the water and spent much of his life diving. One

could say that George Purifoy's life came to an end where he truly loved to be " on the water.

The Olympus Dive Center in Morehead, N.C. was founded by Purifoy in 1976, and is well known among the diving community. He began with a compressor, rentals and weekend charters aboard a twin-engine Atlantis II. In the late 1970s he expanded the business by purchasing Olympus I " a 57 foot wooden-hulled head boat. He

George Purifoy

also founded the Olympus Gym which was Morehead City's first fitness center. A diesel mechanic for 25 years, Purifoy went into diving full time in 1990.

He was very supportive of the local community giving instruction to new divers and participating in the preservation of dive wrecks in the North Carolina area. His work included the preservation of our ocean waters as well.

Purifoy lent his support to the North Carolina Aquarium where he sponsored a dive program at the Living Shipwreck which is an exhibit featuring a replica of a German sub sunk off Cape Lookout in 1942.

Purifoy had close to 7,000 dives beginning in 1961, and his passion was just as strong in the end as it was in the beginning. His discovery and identification of numerous shipwrecks adds to his credits. The most notable discovery was the World War II Submarine, the U-352 which he discovered in 1975 after purchasing his own boat and utilizing a LORAN unit which he had to rent as they were just coming on the market at that time. Purifoy's generosity included meeting with the U-352 survivors and paying for their trip so that they could pay respect to their fallen comrades.

One can truly say that George Purifoy was not only a local icon but a legend around the world.

Portage Quarry Recreation Club, Inc.
12701 South Dixie
Bowling Green OH, 43402

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