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Oceanic Founder and Dive Industry Icon Bob Hollis Has Passed Away

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Bob Hollis, 86, died peacefully on January 4, 2023, in Salt Lake City, Utah, surrounded by his family.

Phil Nuytten· President at Nuytco Research Ltd./ Hard Suits Inc./Can-Dive Construction Ltd. 2009, Phil was Bob’s client, said below about Bob Hollis

“Bob Hollis is a superb underwater photographer, a creative force in the undersea technology business and a selfless behind-the-scenes worker for the benefit of the diving industry. He’s currently at the top of his game and continues to surprise even his peers with the innovative equipment his various companies produce – equipment that allows new divers to safely experience the underwater world and expert divers to more effectively carry out their various missions.I know of no-one in this industry that I would recommend more highly than Bob Hollis.”

Phil Nuytten

Bob Hollis and a business partner founded Oceanic over 25 years ago. For a burgeoning industry, they produced camera housings, strobes, strobe housings, and various U/W photo accessories. Oceanic is an aptly named company because it is the result of one man’s love of the sea.

Bob Hollis
Original Photo Credit Unknown

Aside from founding Oceanic and Hollis, one of Bob’s most notable diving accomplishments was the saturation project on the Andrea Doria in 1973. Bob’s friends, Navy divers Don Rodocker and Chris Deluchhi, who had set some deep saturation records, were planning a new business when their enlistments expired in 1972. The first project was to create a portable saturation complex. The plan was to tow the complex 50 miles northeast of New York to the Andrea Doria wreck site. They planned to anchor a support boat to the Doria, lower the complex, secure it to the wreck’s side, swim down, and live in it. They could then dive from the complex, use cutting torches to create a hole in the port side, locate and remove the safe. Don and Chris wanted Bob to invest in the deal, get the contract for the film documentary, and help with the complex’s construction.

Bob’s greatest accomplishment was his family, which included 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.


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About Author

Kathy is the owner of Kirk Scuba Gear, a passionate Scuba Diver, Ocean Advocate and Managing Editor of The Scuba News Canada

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