Legends of Diving Articles


Joe Liburdi
58 Years Beneath the Sea

Joe Liburdi started diving in 1952, when divers wore twin-hose regulators and scuba lessons consisted of the words, "Blow and go!" In 1966, he

founded the Liburdi Scuba School for servicemen in the Philippines. That was also the year he took his first underwater photograph with a Calypso camera. Expressing his impressions of inner space has been his challenge and reward ever since.

He has explored the waters of Japan, Micronesia, Malaysia, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Africa. He has dived the Caribbean, the Great Barrier Reef, the Red Sea. He has enjoyed the tepid waters of

the Fijian archipelago and explored the cold, green depths of British Columbia and Puget Sound. His photographs document the moods, moments and fascination of nearly six decades beneath the seas.

Joe's encounters have appeared in numerous publications, including the most popular American diving magazines, Skin Diver, Scuba Diving, Dive Training, and Sport Diver. He has been published in Undersea Journal, Alaskan Air Magazine, the Digital Photographer, and the list goes on. He has coauthored seven books: A Guide to Our Underwater World, The Underwater Photo Logbook, How to Use Sea & Sea, How to Use the Motor Marine II, The Complete Guide to Sea & Sea, The New Guide to Sea & Sea, and The Complete Guide to the Motor Marine III.

Joe has received the NAUI Man in the Sea award and PADI's Distinguished Achievement Award for his contributions to the sport of diving. He has been applauded for his 16mm film of Mt. St. Helens" ravaged Spirit Lake in

Joe Liburdi and Harry Truitt in 1972

a BBC documentary called "Legacy of a Volcano?. In 1995 Joe was elected to Scuba Schools International's Platinum Pro 5000 society for having pulled 5000 dives. But if we?re counting, it's closer to double. In 2004 Joe was selected as contributing still photographer for National Geographic Diver Almanac and National Geographic Passport to Adventure DVD-ROM.

After retiring from the USAF in 1972 Joe opened his first of three dive shops in the Pacific Northwest. In 1985 Joe and his wife Cara came to California and launched Underwater Exposures, Inc. and Orca Publications, a publishing and marketing firm. In 1991 Joe and his sons founded Liburdi's Scuba Center in California, one of the industry's foremost training and retail facilities

and the largest dealer of underwater imaging equipment in Southern California. Joe retired from the retail sector in 2005 but continued to teach underwater imaging and lead photo adventures around the world.

Joe is an industry pioneer. The white hair is testament to a career spanning 58 years. But his enthusiasm for diving and photography keep him young. And now Joe's love of the sport has lured him out of retirement and back into retail. In September 2009 Joe opened a new shop in Irvine called Joe Liburdi's Dive & Photo. He may well be the oldest man to ever open a dive shop. He certainly is the most experienced.

It is rumored the man has gills.

Joe Liburdi in his new shop opened in 2009, Joe Liburdi's Dive & Photo

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

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