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Peter Bennett founder of Divers Alert Network DAN organization has died

Listen to this article Peter Bennett, researcher, entrepreneur and founder of the Divers Alert Network DAN, passed away this past week at the age of 91. Peter Bennett was a passionate researcher and entrepreneur who founded the Divers Alert Network DAN in 1980. He personally led DAN for the next 23 years and contributed significantly
Published: August 15, 2022 - 09:00
Updated: July 23, 2023 - 01:10
Peter Bennett founder of Divers Alert Network DAN organization has died
Listen to this article

Peter Bennett, researcher, entrepreneur and founder of the Divers Alert Network DAN, passed away this past week at the age of 91.

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Peter Bennett was a passionate researcher and entrepreneur who founded the Divers Alert Network DAN in 1980. He personally led DAN for the next 23 years and contributed significantly to what the organization is today.

The beginnings of a career

Peter Bennett was born on June 12, 1931 in Portsmouth, England. He studied chemistry and biology at the University of London, where he received a bachelor’s degree in 1951. He then continued his development and began working at the Royal Navy Physiological Laboratory. He earned a PhD in physiology and biochemistry from the University of Southampton in 1964.

He was very passionate about diving, and especially about diving medicine and physiology. In 1967 he was among the founding members of the Undersea Medical Society. He served as president of the society from 1975-76, in turn serving as editor of the society’s published journal from 1976-79. In turn, he has served as executive director since 2007.

Peter Bennett and the establishment of DAN

Since 1972, he has lived in the US, where he was first deputy director and later director of the hyperbaric center at the F.G. Hall Laboratory at the prestigious Duke University in North Carolina. In 1980, Bennett submitted a grant application to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The goal was to fund a special phone line for divers injured in accidents. As you’ve already guessed, the idea metamorphosed and grew into what we all know today as the Divers Alert Network DAN.

In founding DAN, Dr. Bennett accomplished something truly remarkable. It is because of his vision and actions that divers around the world now have the support of an organization that is ready to help in the event of an emergency. Dr. Bennett’s inquisitive mind and drive have been gifts to divers around the world DAN President and CEO Bill Ziefle said.

Peter Bennett dedicated his life to the advancement of diving. Few can match his achievements as a researcher, organizer and leader in diving medicine. He will remain a profound inspiration to all those working in this vital field. He displayed an infectious, pioneering spirit with which he won over experts and colleagues around the world who routinely accomplished the impossible. He was a great mentor and friend who will be truly missed DAN medical director Jim Chimiak said.

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About author

Marcin Pawełczyk
Marcin’s journey with diving has been an adventure. Starting as a recreational diver, he soon found himself drawn to the fascinating stories and mysteries of Baltic wrecks. After gaining experience, Marcin decided to go beyond just leisurely exploration and took his training up a notch by completing the TMX course, allowing him to explore even deeper and uncover the secrets of inaccessible places. His next challenge has been cave diving, where he is honing his skills to become a certified diver. Not content to simply take in the breathtaking beauty of underwater life, Marcin has also embraced underwater photography since 2018, capturing stunning shots that bring these worlds alive for those who are unable to experience them first-hand. Marcin’s passion for the underwater has taken him far and is sure to continue doing so as he dives into new depths and captures breathtaking images.
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