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Dive industry mourns Oceanic Founder and Industry Icon Bob Hollis



A life full of adventure came to a peaceful close on January 4, 2023, in Salt Lake City, Utah with family surrounding Bob’s side. Born on April 25, 1937, in Orland, California to Robert and Elinor Hollis, Bob leaves behind a legacy as a pioneer, entrepreneur, businessman, and most importantly, a loving father and grandfather.

Bob accomplished more in 85 years than most and lived his life to the fullest. He was a risk taker who truly did what he loved and inspired others to do the same. If there wasn’t a way, he created one.

Bob will be remembered by many as a groundbreaking influence in both the sport of scuba diving and underwater photography. Bob’s love of the ocean began in 1955 after reading an article about underwater exploration in Popular Mechanics. Following his first scuba experience, Bob became obsessed with the water, becoming one of the earliest underwater photographers on the West Coast and establishing the Underwater Photographic Society of Northern California in 1966. Additionally, Bob was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Underwater Parks and Reserves (California State Parks Department), where he assisted in exploring the coastline and identifying future areas for preservation, including Point Lobos, La Jolla and the Salt Point State Park.

A true entrepreneur, when Bob realized that the scuba diving and photography equipment available at that time did not meet his needs, he set about developing his own. All of this was done while Bob continued to attend school for business and engineering and worked at Standard Oil to support his young family. In 1966, Bob opened the Anchor Shack dive shop in Hayward, California, and began developing underwater camera housing, strobes and hand lights, which served as the jumping off point for his company Oceanic. By 1976, the Oceanic product line had completely developed, ultimately turning Bob and the Oceanic brand into leaders in the scuba diving community. Over the course of his lifetime, Bob founded many companies including American Underwater Products, Pelagic Pressure Systems, ROMI Enterprises and the renowned scuba diving brands, Oceanic, Hollis, and Aeris. Bob wanted everyone to experience scuba diving and gave thousands around the world the opportunity to do so.

Using his experience, Bob helped create an underwater saturation system in 1978 for the Andrea Doria shipwreck. The system was attached to the wreck at a depth of 240’ for up to seven days, allowing divers to explore the wreck for several days without having to swim to the surface. Bob logged more dives than anyone on the wreck and in 1981 served as the underwater photographer for the nationally aired film called, “Andrea Doria: The Final Chapter”, detailing the team’s goal of recovering the bank safe from the famed sunken Italian ocean liner.

In addition to developing photography and scuba diving equipment, Bob was also responsible for leading some of the first dive trips to Cozumel, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, Belize, Yucatan Peninsula and the Galapagos. He also led tours to the remote destination of Papua New Guinea, where he later built a family home and destination dive resort for other underwater enthusiasts.

Over his storied career, Bob received many awards and achievements including the NOGI Award, the DEMA Reaching Out Award, and was an inductee of the Scuba Diving Hall of Fame.

Throughout all his professional success, Bob’s greatest achievement was his family, including his children Debbie (Jon), Mike (Molly), Nick (Brittany) and Zach (Danica), grandchildren Heather, Elizabeth, Jonathan, Caitlin, Robert, Seth, Preston, Olivia and Sloane, and great-grandchildren Benjamin, Natalie, Henry, Eleanor, Samuel, Ian and Colin. Bob shared his passion of the ocean and traveling the world with them, including abalone diving trips on the California coast, family live-aboard dive trips, motorcycle adventures, and creating memories for many lifetimes. He will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

The family will be holding private services in Orland, California and asks for those interested in honoring Bob to share your story and photos via social media. If you would like to also share those with the family, they can be sent to In lieu of flowers, please donate to an ocean conservation charity in Bob’s memory.



Palaemon Divers shortlisted for top Business Award



North West-based Dive Centre, Palaemon Divers, has been shortlisted for Leisure and Tourism Start Up of the Year with Start Up Awards 2023.

Palaemon Divers is delighted to be named a finalist in the Awards which celebrate Start Up Businesses and what they have brought to the economy within three years of their launch.

Palaemon Divers was started by Leanne Clowes in the midst of COVID lockdowns. Leanne walked out of her well paid corporate sales job with no savings after a redundancy in a previous role and spending the majority of the year before COVID to follow the dream! After the redundancy and COVID, life struck just a little differently and the pull to become a full-time dive instructor became impossible to ignore!

So with that… notice was handed in, no savings, nothing physical to start being a full time dive instructor other than personal kit at the time – oh and the fact, Leanne was actually an Assistant Instructor at the time and hadn’t attended the instruction exam at that point as there had been none going on through COVID obviously!

However, the first Instructor Exam that was happening out of COVID was booked onto – no pressure at all with no full time job, no money as a back up, mortgage and bills to pay…

Leanne started freelancing as an instructor in the North West using various outdoor locations for training, and the business snowballed and quickly gained its first physical dive centre in January 2022 along with finding their own private in-water training facility at Princes Dock in Liverpool. Since then, 100s of new people from Liverpool and further afield have been introduced to the amazing sport of scuba, and experienced the abundant life under the surface of the dock itself.

In a time of no travel to outside your area or abroad, Palaemon Divers found something new and exciting to introduce the city of Liverpool to those who spend five days a week in the office looking down at the dock and not really being able to appreciate what the dock actually means to Liverpool!

It became apparent during 2022, that although Liverpool was fantastic, more growth was on the cards which came in the form of a second location, Palaemon Divers – Warrington. The second dive centre is an ex micro brewery in Warrington with a central location close to the M6, M62 and M56, spread over two floors which includes a classroom, workshop, compressor and a floor dedicated to retail.

The efforts in building this business have not gone unnoticed with the shortlist for Startup Awards, and also another shortlist which will be announced in the next month.

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Gear Reviews

Gear Review: Quilted Polar Hat from Otter Watersports (Watch Video)



In a video shot exclusively for, Jeff Goodman reviews the Quilted Polar Hat from leading drysuit manufacturer Otter Watersports.

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