The hyperbaric chamber on Catalina Island.

The hyperbaric chamber on Catalina Island.

A study has shown that 69% of diving accidents are caused by diver error. So can you imagine inadvertently doing something wrong, getting bent or embolized, and hearing “Sorry, there’s no chamber in the area so there’s nothing we can do for you.” Fortunately, that’s NOT the case in Southern California because, since 1974, we can rely on the USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber to be there for us.

Ch-Day 2016 Ch-Eve 2016 Dutchman 2016

Now in 2016, we are celebrating our Chamber’s 42nd year of unbending service to the Southern California diving community. While our Chamber still gets about 50% of its funding from the County, Chamber Day & Eve have become the major source of funds to keep our Chamber available to us 24/7/365. And that’s why we hope you’ll participate in Chamber Day & Eve 2016 on Wednesday, May 4.

The first Chamber Day attracted about 200 divers and netted about $15,000 for our Chamber. Over the years the event has grown to over 1,000 participants by adding Chamber Eve, the Flying Dutchman, and the Chamber Challenge, and last year we raised just over $121,000 for our Chamber. We are justifiably considered the largest single-day scuba charity event in the United States and perhaps even the world.

Itís important to know that all monies raised go to the Chamber. No administrative fees are deducted from the proceeds, many of the local SoCal boats donate their time and services, the manufacturers donate gear for raffle prizes, the Aquarium of the Pacific donates their facility for Chamber Eve, hundreds of volunteers donate their time, and you (hopefully) donate your money.

Here’s what’s happening:

• The main event is Chamber Day, which includes two dives at Catalina, plus a walking tour of the Chamber facilities at the Isthmus. A ticket on one of the participating boats for Chamber Day is $110 (plus $30 for food and airfills for the boat). You get the diving, the tour, a T-shirt, and 5 daytime raffle tickets.

• If you canít take the day off but would still like to participate, we have the Flying Dutchmanóa mythical boat, yes, but a big part of Chamber Day and the perfect option for those who canít attend in person. ìDivingî the Dutchman gets you 5 daytime raffle tickets and a special limited-edition T-shirt available only to folks who sign up for the Dutchman. And we’re holding the Dutchman price at $95.

• There’s also the Chamber Challenge, which ìchallengesî our community to raise extra funds for our Chamber through direct donations (mostly $100 pledges, but also $500 and $1,000, and even $5,000 and $10,000). You donate, and thenówe hopeóyou challenge your friends to match your generosity.

• Raffle tickets, anyone? Daytime raffle tickets are the way to goóbecause you donít need to be present to win. Tickets are $1 each, with discounts when you buy more. Plus this year when you dive our participating boats in April, youíll get additional FREE raffle tickets.

• Chamber Evening, co-sponsored by the Aquarium of the Pacific, wraps things up. You’ll have full access to the Aquarium, a sit-down dinner in the Great Hall (under the life-sized model of a blue whale), hear a few speechesówe try to keep them shortómaybe win a raffle prize, and finally, cheer during the presentation of the Chamber Day check to Karl Huggins, Director of the Chamber. As with Chamber Day, Chamber Evening tickets are $110 each.

For more information about these canít-miss events, visit our web site at You can sign up there using their secure server, or you can call Chamber Day HQ at 310-652-4990.

Mark your calendar for Wednesday, May 4 and Chamber Day & Eve 2016. Organized by Ken Kurtis (Chairman, Chamber Day/Eve 2016) & Karl Huggins (Director, USC Catalina Hyperbaric Chamber).