Legends of Diving Articles


Harry Vetter
Dive Shop Manager and Early NAUI Instructor

Harry Vetter, 81, was born in Long Beach California in 1928. He grew up in the Redondo Beach area where his life was shaped by the Pacific ocean coastline that surrounded him. Harry developed both a love and respect

for the ocean as he experienced it via body surfing, tidal pool exploring, as well as skin diving during his formative years.

After graduating from Compton Jr. College in 1949, he purchased his first SCUBA regulator from Rene Bussoz's Sporting Goods in Westwood, California, thereby teaching himself to use the SCUBA by referring to E.R. Cross's Hard Hat Diving Manual. He truly was self-taught. Quickly mastering the sport, he started teaching diving in motel and backyard swimming pools in 1952, though no certifications were issued at these sessions.

In these early days, Harry helped to distribute copies of the first issue of Skin Diver Magazine, in which his photograph can be seen on the last page of that December 1951 issue.

Harry then moved on to teach the first YMCA SCUBA classes in the United States at the Long Beach, California YMCA from 1954-1956. Vetter then

Harry Vetter with his bug appeared in the first issue of Skin Dive Magazine. He reported on the Southern California Skin Divers Annual Lobster Tournament at Carpenteria State Park in 1951.

began an affiliation with the Underwater Sports Shop in Long Beach from 1956-1960 by managing the shop, as well as teaching diving classes.

From 1960-1965 Harry managed and taught at 3 Ski and Dive shops in the Los Angeles Area, as well as at the Aquatic Center and Disneyland pools in Santa Ana and Anaheim, California.

Mr. Vetter became a member instructor with the Los Angeles County Instructors Program in 1955 and served on their Board of Directors from 1958-1960.

Harry enjoys the distinction of helping to form the NAUI Instructors program in Houston, Texas in 1960, as well as holding the 4th NAUI Instructors card issued. It was recently noted that

he is also the "oldest living NAUI instructor." In honor of this, NAUI recently issued a special commemorative instructors card to this living legend.

After making these powerful contributions to the diving community, Harry now resides with his wife of 44 years in Medford, Oregon.

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

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