New England Wreck Symposium
New England Wreck Diving goes back to the very first days of diving. Before Sidescan Sonar or Multibeam Echo Sonars were used to find these sunken vessels, divers would ride along with dredgers in hopes of finding “numbers” (aka latitude/longitude) to their newest diving spot.
In February 2019, SECONN co-hosted the revamped New England Wreck Symposium with the UConn Avery Point Scuba Club. Held on Avery Point’s beautiful campus in Groton, the event brought divers and non-divers from all six New England states! With local explorers such as David Caldwell & Heather Knowles, Mark Munro, Captain Bill Palmer, Evan Kovacs, and more the topics cover all aspects of wreck diving and exploration.
2021 found us experiencing the symposium from a different environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Zoom enabled us to still hear tales of underwater exploration, but we are excited and hopeful to be planning the 2023 event!
With both new and returning faces, keep an eye out as we fill our schedule with presentations that cover all aspects of New England Wreck diving!
NEWS 2023 Lineup:
Adventures in Lake Champlain: Exploring New England’s Lake Shipwrecks
by Heather Knowles and David Caldwell
Lake Champlain has much to offer the cold water shipwreck diver. Whether you are a recreational diver or a technical diver, there are great dives to be found that will provide a glimpse into history as well as offer something a bit different than ocean wreck diving with well preserved wrecks in the fresh water environment. With a DPV, it is possible to get creative and even reach some of those wrecks from shore. Join us as we share some of our experiences exploring the fascinating shipwrecks of Lake Champlain!
Heather and David’s Bio
Heather Knowles and David Caldwell are the co-founders of Northern Atlantic Dive Expeditions, Inc. They operate their dive charter boat, Gauntlet, with a focus on shipwreck diving and exploration. Both are technical diving instructors and fellows of the Explorer’s Club. Heather and Dave have had the privilege of exploring some of the world’s notable shipwrecks off the East Coast U.S. as well as shipwrecks in Canada, the Mediterranean and the South China Sea. In addition, they have made shipwreck discoveries in their local waters and have collaborated on research projects with NOAA in support of exploration in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.
Long Island Divers Association Mission Accomplished
by Barry Lipsky
Beneath the Sea 2020 Diver of the Year Barry Lipsky of the Long Island Divers Association describes the accomplishments they have prevailed on from town beach restrictions lifted for divers-only access, to saving the most precious marine structure on Long Island set to be destroyed, and lastly to working with big government officials in securing and placing a pair of 100-foot tug boats for the creation of artificial reefs.
Barry Lipsky’s Bio
1968 Started Free Diving/Scuba Diving – Boy Scouts of America
1970 YMCA Certified Open Water Scuba Diver
!974 Summer- Dive mate 65’ boat, Key Largo Florida
1975 Summer – Dive mate 65’ boat, Key Largo Florida
1968 – 2022 Over 1000+ O.W. dives
2019 NAUI Dr. Charlie Brown Memorial Award
2020 Beneath the Sea Diver of the Year
2006 – 2022:
Teaching classes to the fire service and police:
Public Safety Diving
Public Safety Full Face Mask
Public Safety Dry Suit
Public Safety Line Tender
Teaching classes to recreational divers:
2006 – 2022:
Teaching with owners of Lifeguard Systems:
Public Safety Diving
Rapid Deployment, Search and Rescue/Recovery
Surface Ice Rescue I
Surface Ice Rescue II
Ice Diving Search and Rescue/Recovery
2019 – 2022:
Teaching First Responder Medical to Ski Patrol
1976 Teaching degree – Mississippi State University
1977 PSIA Instructor – Professional Ski Instructors of America
2006 NAUI Instructor #46690
2006 ACUC Instructor #501-US
2006 Lifeguard Systems Public Safety Diver Instructor #52
2007 NAUI Technical Diver
2008 TDI Decompression Diver #310402
2008 Trelleborg Diving in High Risk Environments
2008 Trelleborg Chemical Testing on Dry Suits
2005 Dive Rescue International Boat Based Operations & Current
2009 Lifeguard Systems Overturned Vessel Dive Training
2009 Emergency Medical Technician
2005 OSHA 10 hour & 30 Hour
2010 OEC Outdoor Emergency Care – Ski Patrol
2009 EMT Emergency Medical Technician
2004 – 2022 Bayport Fire Department:
Captain Water Rescue
2008 – 2022 President Long Island Divers Association
2003 – 2022 The Dive Club of Bayshore
2000 _ 2022 Boy Scouts of America Dive Advisor
Sea Base Florida
1977 – 2022 Professional Ski Instructors of America
2010 – 2022 National Ski Patrol
Over the Hill and Under the Sea
by Bob Foster
For some of us, the passion for diving never leaves even though we continue to age. Certainly physical fitness plays a critical role in our ability to dive, but there are a number of other adjustments that we old divers find can extend our stay in the sport. In this talk I’ll outline a number of adjustments made by myself and three other “mature” divers that have allowed us to continue actively diving well past the typical “expiration” date. If you’re on the downward slope, you might come way with some ideas to extend your stay – if you’re a younger diver it might help to explain why the older divers you encounter do some seemingly weird things.
Bob Foster’s Bio
Bob began diving 50 years ago off Puerto Rico and in Ohio quarries and Lake Superior. His passion for
underwater exploration has never waned, and has resulted in many unique discoveries and lasting
by Mark Munro
Over the last twenty years rebreathers have become more and more pervasive in the dive community and today you’ll likely see them at any dive destination. Rebreathers may not have come to the attention of most divers until the recent past but they’ve actually been around much longer than you may think. Mark will be covering a brief history of rebreathers, the basics of how rebreathers work and also take a look at the history of the homebuilt rebreather community at a time when commercial rebreathers were not readily available to the general public.
Mark Munro’s Bio
Mark Munro has been diving shipwrecks in New England waters since 1988. He first became interested in rebreather technology after reading the December 1993 edition of AquaCorps Magazine C2. Mark came into possession of his first rebreather in 1998, a BioPak 60 terrestrial firefighting oxygen rebreather, and has been on a constant journey of silent diving ever since.
Exploring Long Island Sound – RECOVER THE DISCOVERY
by Capt. Denis Habza
Have you ever wondered if there is anything to dive in the Long Island Sound? What is the visibility like, are there any shipwrecks? Captain Denis will regale you with his experiences having explored vast swaths of this unique estuary and the challenges that arise when diving in it.
Captain Denis Habza, Founder of Squalusmarine.com has been filming and exploring wrecks in the Long Island Sound for over a decade. He has hosted dive seminars and expos to promote scuba diving in the northeast and elsewhere. His YouTube channel, Squalus Marine Divers, boasts some 4000 subscribers and over 160 narrated virtual dives on wrecks and with marine life. Captain Denis runs a private boat (Squalus II) out of Bridgeport, CT with a select group of divers who continue to explore new and exciting anomalies.
What’s in your kit: Items required for Diving First Aid
by Dr. David Charash
This presentation will cover required items for divers, dive boats, dive operations, expeditions, and both commercial, USCG, IMCA guidelines.
David Charash DO, CWS, FACEP, FUHM. Dr Charash is Board Certified In Emergency Medicine, Undersea and Hyperbaric MedicineHe has cared for injured Divers since 1992. He is a NOAA Certified Dive Medicine Physician and a Certified Dive Fitness Medical Examiner. He has lectured at the United States Coast Guard Academy and the Naval Undersea Medical Institute on a variety of dive medicine topics. He speaks locally, nationally and internationally on Dive Safety, Dive Technology, and Dive Medicine. Dr Charash works with recreational, scientific, public safety, commercial and military diving communities. He is a PADI Rescue Diver
What Voodoo should you do?
by Jeff Godfrey
A primer on common decompression models, gradient factors, deep stops, recommendations for missed deco etc.