Honors: Dick Rutkowski

Inducted Into Commercial Diving Hall Of Fame

The Association of Diving Contractors International congratulates Dick Rutkowski for his induction into the Commercial Diving Hall of Fame. Rutkowski was recognized for his achievements at Underwater Intervention 2019.

During his work for the Environmental Science Services Administration (ESSA), Dick was asked to attend commercial diving school to teach government scientists scuba diving. He attended Divers Training Academy, which was taught by former Navy diving instructors. This program consisted of USN MK5, Scuba, decompression chambers, diving accident management and treatment procedures. Shortly thereafter, many government agencies and other countries began training with the ESSA diving programs that Dick spearheaded.

In 1970, the acronym ESSA was changed to NOAA. Dick became Deputy to Dr. Morgan Wells, Director of the NOAA Dive Office. Within NOAA Miami, Dick was the Director of NOAA Dive Training, Director of NOAA Miami Dive Treatment Training Center and NOAA Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU), and co-Director of the NOAA/UHMS/URF physicians dive medical training program for 33 years (1975-2008).

Dick has been involved with the ESSA/NOAA since 1965 and remains active today. He has traveled to more than 30 countries, establishing diving facilities, saturation dive systems, dive safety boards, hyperbaric facilities, teaching, and life-support systems for the diving community. He has educated more than 8,000 diving and hyperbaric medical personnel, treated hundreds of diving and clinical personnel at the NOAA Miami Hyperbaric Facility (Marc Kaiser, Deputy, and James Lowenherz MD, medical director.) This includes four hyperbaric facilities in Costa Rica, Turks and Caicos and two in Key Largo. Dick and Dr. Lowenherz still conduct their dive medical, clinical hyperbaric team training programs in Key Largo and continue to act as full-time consultants.