Ster·ling [stur-ling]

1. noun, British money. 2. adjective, excellent; of great value.

A tribute to the pioneers of technical diving

This website was created as a partial reaction to the list of honourees in Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.  Whilst all the honourees in the Hall are clearly very distinguished divers in their own right, the list of achievements appears slightly old and grey.  Staid.  They are the men and women who toiled to safely define the boundaries of the sport of scuba diving.  What was missing was the pioneers who refused to accept those boundaries; who pushed the limits, and at great personal risk went beyond what was thought to be safe, and to go where others had said that they could not go.

During the 1990s a quiet revolution occurred in diving.  The old recommended depth diving limit of 130 feet and staying within no-decompression limits was seen as too restrictive by those who wanted to push further, deeper, longer; those who wanted to see the things that others had never seen.  To go deeper into caves, and see shipwrecks unseen since sinking.

This website is dedicated to memorialising the achievements of those men (and they were all men) who would not accept the limits placed on them by others, and who led so that others could follow, to greater depths and to see the things that others could not see.  Today with advanced training, sophisticated dive computers, rebreathers and helium gas blends, thousands enjoy the sport of technical diving and descend regularly to depths that their forbears would not have thought credible.  And they do it for fun. 

But they should never forget when they descend to the depths, they stand upon the shoulders of giants.  Those who went before them and took huge personal risks, and in many cases paid the ultimate price, to forge new paths for those who wished to follow.

This is not a list of the first technical divers, nor even the greatest technical divers.  It is a list of those who helped bring technical diving to the wider world.  Like all lists, some will view it as arbitrary.  There are many great names who might have been included: Frédéric Dumas, Bruce Wienke, Richard Pyle, Hal Watts and John Bennett are some other names that spring to mind.  But no list is ever perfect; the achievements of others should not diminish the accomplishments of these few.  And for those accomplishments, we should be grateful.

This is not a commercial website; it is simply a personal tribute to some of the pioneers of modern technical diving.  If there is any information on this site which you believe is inaccurate or misleading, or if you believe that any material on this website violates copyright, please contact us at and we will endeavour to correct it as soon as possible.

For the avoidance of doubt, this website is not affiliated or connected with
Sterling Silver Scuba, the scuba training facility located in Virginia.