Dick Long, Founder and Owner, Diving Unlimited International
Dick Long is one of the pioneers of the diving industry and the founder of Diving Unlimited International. He is one of the few executives among the diving equipment manufacturers who regularly gets in the water to dive.
Dick started diving in 1958 and attended the very first NAUI instructor course held in Houston in 1960. He later became certified as an instructor for both PADI and the YMCA.
The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Dick has received the NOGI award for education, the DAN Rolex Diver of the Year Award, the Reaching Out Award, and has been inducted into the NAUI Hall of Fame. From 1995-1999 he was on the board of directors of the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association and is currently the chairman of the San Diego Ocean’s Foundation. His consuming passion during the last few years has been the management of the sinking of the Yukon, a former Canadian Navy ship, which has become an artificial reef for divers.
In 1965 he worked as a contract diver for the U.S. Navy in the Arctic and from 1965 through 1972 he operated his own commercial diving company. He also worked with the Navy on the development of equipment for the Underwater Demolition Team’s divers doing lockouts from submarines during this same period. Dick was an equipment designer for the Navy’s Sea Lab II experiment in saturation diving. He subsequently went on to develop the hot water suit which has made modern saturation diving possible.
Dick started Diving Unlimited International in 1963 as a sport diving store and custom dive equipment manufacturer. He sold off the retail division in 1977 and has concentrated on the manufacture of diver thermal protection equipment since that time. The company has become the undisputed world leader in the development of dry suits and thermal protective systems for underwater use.