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Catalina Chamber Day is May 6; scuba divers needed

April 30, 2009 |  9:09 am

A garibaldi. When asked about the importance of maintaining the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber at the island's Two Harbors area, dive master Ken Kurtis said, "The chamber provides a vital safety net for divers, and, to put it bluntly, without it people would die."

The chamber, which is used to treat various scuba-diving-related ailments, is funded largely by donations. The annual Chamber Day, chaired by Kurtis, is a primary fundraiser.

This year's Chamber Day and Chamber Evening (a separate event at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach), is May 6. Cost is $90 for two dives, plus $30 for food and tank refills. Cost for the Chamber Evening dinner is $90, which includes a private tour of the aquarium and five raffle tickets.

About 250 people are expected for the dive and 500 for the dinner.  Those who cannot make either and would still like to help can enjoy a mythical  "Flying Dutchman" dive (for $90) and receive a commemorative T-shirt and raffle tickets.

Kurtis, who owns Reef Seekers Dive Co. in Beverly Hills, said donations are down this year and that the chamber needs the help of divers. Please click on the Chamber Day link  to learn more.

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: A garibaldi. Credit: Ken Kurtis