Peter B. Bennett passed away this week at the age of 91.
Peter B. Bennett (born June 12, 1931) was the founder of the Divers Alert Network (DAN), a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting scuba divers in need. He was an anesthesiology professor at Duke University Medical Center and the Senior Director of Duke’s Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Environmental Physiology. Bennett is widely regarded as a world expert on the effects of high pressure on human physiology.
Bennett was born in the English town of Portsmouth, Hampshire. Beginning in 1953, he worked at the Royal Navy Physiology Laboratory near Portsmouth for 20 years. During this time, he founded and led Canada’s Defense and Civil Institute for Environmental Medicine.
Dr. Bennett has dedicated his life to diving as a researcher, organizer, and leader, with over 100 journal publications. He became the Executive Director of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society after leaving DAN. He will have a lasting impact on everyone involved in the diving industry. Dr. Bennett’s contagious pioneering spirit will be missed greatly.
Dr. Bennett received the Reaching Out Award from the Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) in 2002 for his contributions to the diving industry, as well as the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2002 award for his contributions to business in the life sciences. After 23 years as President of the Divers Alert Network of America, he stepped down on June 30, 2003.