Legends of Diving Articles


Charles (Chuck) Hepp
UNEXSO Founding Member

Chuck learned to dive in the mid 1950's in Fort Lauderdale. He did some treasure hunting in the Keys, taught swimming and diving for the City of Ft. Lauderdale and worked on the beach patrol there. In 1961 he took the second ever NAUI Instructors' course (NAUI #165) and joined UNEXSO in 1965. He built the original boat docks and then worked as a Program Director. He was a safety diver when Jacques Mayol made his record free dive and made a dive in the deep diving vessel, the Ben Franklin. In 1972 with the financial difficulties at UNEXSO he decided to work full time for his second love, the space program. He worked for a NASA contractor all over the world - Newfoundland, Canada, Guam, Ascension Island and Senegal, West Africa. In between these assignments he worked with his wife Lucinda in Grand Cayman, first to open and run Bob Sotos' Holiday Inn Dive Shop and secondly to run the dive operation at Spanish Bay reef. He also worked with Bob Wicklund at the Caribbean Marine Research Center on Lee Stocking Island, Exumas before moving to central Florida. After working with Harris Corporation (a government contractor) he retired and in 2001 moved west to Oregon to be close to his daughter, Suzanne. Klamath Falls offered many outdoor adventures, including a return to downhill skiing after 50 years, but also included a knee and hip replacement. He continues to be very active doing projects, walking his 2 dogs and participating in water aerobics and water volleyball.


Lucinda Hepp (Cindy Bantock)
UNEXSO Staff 1968 - 1972

Lucinda learned to dive at UNEXSO in 1967 and joined the staff in 1968 as Dave Woodward's secretary. She became a NAUI Instructor in 1968 (#1369) - the tenth woman to do so. Besides administrative duties at UNEXSO, she taught many 3-hour Resort Diving Courses and ran dives too. She and Chuck Hepp married in 1971 and left the Bahamas in 1972 when Chuck returned to work full-time for the space program. The next 14 years took her to Newfoundland, Canada, Guam and Senegal, West Africa and also to Grand Cayman. The first time to open and run Bob Soto's Holiday Inn Dive Shop with Chuck and the second time to run the dive operation at Spanish Bay Reef. She also did field research on juvenile Conch at the Caribbean Marine Research Center on Lee Stocking Island, Exumas, working for Bob Wicklund. After returning to Central Florida in 1985, she worked in the marketing department at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Center before going into real estate - a career that lasted nearly 15 years. Her next adventure was the move out west to Klamath Falls, Oregon where she had a chance to return to downhill skiing after nearly 50 years! Lucinda also spent 7 years coordinating a children's literacy program at an elementary school in Klamath Falls before retiring this past year to enjoy her passion - quilting!

Chuck and Lucinda Hepp

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

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