Divers Academy international, formerly Divers Academy of the Eastern Seaboard, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The commercial diving school was launched in 1977 by Capt. William M. Brown, and has grown literally and figuratively over the years.

In the early days. the school occupied the first floor of the "I" Building and Pier One of the Port of Philadelphia's South Jersey Port Ship yard. It has grown to occupy both the first and second floors of "I" Building and water space on Piers One and Two. The Academy has expanded its fleet of training barges and vessels over the years and just added a new 70foot training barge that accompanies the 50foot work boat, Bull Dog II and a welding barge located on the Delaware River.

The Academy changed its name from Divers Academy of the Eastern Seaboard to Divers Academy International in 2001. The school is operated by Captain Brown's daughter Tamara, who has been very active in the commercial diving community since 1982. Tamara has sat on several Association of Divine Contractors (ADC) and Association of Commercial Diving Educator (ADCE) boards and is past presi dent of the ACDE. Captain Brown retired in 1989, and his wife Sharron still operates the financial aid department at the Academy.

The school's technology has changed over the years. The first training dive was made with a 1977 Mark V dive helmet that now stands as a historic piece in the Academy's front lobby area. The training program was expanded to include mixed gas diving in the early 1980s, to Superlite dive helmets in the mid 1980s, and to ROV's and non-destructive testing in the early 1990s. The school is known as one of the premier training academics in inland diving technologies and techniques, including bridge pier, and pile inspections.

In addition to celebrating its 25th anniversary. Divers Academy is also celebrating 10 years with Bert Hunt as its lead instructor. Bert joined the Academy after retiring from the US Army as a First Class Diver, Instructor, and Training Director at the Underwater Construction Battalion School in California.

The school has issued an open invitation to its year-long anniversary celebration of training professionals for the industry, offering various surprise mementos for visitors. There will be a 25th anniversary event with equipment demos and diving in October 2002.
In addition to all this excitement, Tamara Brown has even more to celebrate - the adoption of her beautiful daughter, Chelsey Anya.from the Ukraine in September 2001 (Tamara was actually in the Ukraine during the terrorist attacks on America). Chelsey Anya Brown is live years old with blond hair and blue eyes, and reportedly looks a lot like her mom. prose al the Divers Academy will already tell you she is just as strong-willed, as well!
The Academy has recently created an Alumni Association. If you are a former student who would like to join, contact the schoolby phone at 800-238-3483 or email CDiver@ worldnet.att.net. Reprinted from an article in Underwater Magazine and submitted by Divers Academy International