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WET & WILD : Diving Enthusiasts Can Plunge Into Scuba '93 Show

April 29, 1993|DAVID HALDANE | David Haldane is a staff writer for The Times Orange County Edition.

Divers are gearing up for Scuba '93: The Dive Show, an upcoming extravaganza in Anaheim featuring nearly 200 exhibitions, 39 educational seminars, 40 commercial presentations and an ongoing underwater-film festival.

"It's everything you ever wanted to know about diving in one place at one time," said Dale Sheckler, publisher of California Diving News, which is sponsoring the event, billed as the largest of its kind held regularly in the United States. "It's designed to educate, inform and inspire divers into seeking the full underwater experience, as well as introduce non-divers to the sport," said Sheckler.

The show, now in its sixth year, is scheduled for the weekend of May 14-16 at the Disneyland Hotel.

Of the 200 exhibitors in the hall, Sheckler said, about a third will represent travel-related companies offering scuba trips--including some discounted especially for the show--to exotic warm-water locations around the world.

Another third, he said, will be equipment manufacturers displaying the latest wares, including a new underwater propulsion vehicle capable of carrying two divers up to a speed of 3 m.p.h. ("Underwater," Sheckler says, "that's like riding a torpedo") and the latest in diving computer technology.

The rest of the booths, he said, will contain displays by dive shops and certification agencies, as well as such special exhibits as a large collection of antique diving equipment, an underwater photo gallery displaying the best works of local chapters of the Underwater Photographic Society and a collection of shipwreck artifacts retrieved by members of California Wreck Divers.

And show-goers will be treated to screenings of underwater films, as well as a fashion show revealing the latest in underwater styles, several major door prizes and a Saturday night Catalina Casino Party benefiting the Catalina Conservancy Divers, a nonprofit organization working to preserve Catalina's marine environment.

"This is a good place to get a basic idea of what is available," said Sheckler, adding that about 75% of the show-goers are likely to be certified divers. The rest, he said, will be friends of divers and those interested in getting into the sport.

"You could go to all the dive shops in the world," he said, "and never (see this much)."

The three-day Scuba '93: The Dive Show starts May 14 at the Disneyland Hotel, 1150 W. Cerritos Ave., Anaheim. Hours are 6 to 9:30 p.m. on May 14, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on May 15 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 16. Admission is $7 a day for adults, free for children 10 and under (discount coupons available at local dive shops). Each seminar is an additional $12. For information, call (310) 792-2333.

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