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We are America's oldest, continuous, and independent skin diving club in the U.S. We are independent and take no funding from any commercial enterprise.

History of the Auburn Skin Divers Association

With a mission statement of SAFETY-UNITY our club's history began in 1959. We got our start with underwater recovery and teaching SCUBA at the "Y" in Auburn, NY.

Since the 1960's we have been a strong supporter of the New York State Divers Association (NYSDA). Club members: John Tomandl, Howard Trowbridge, Dick Zielinski and others served as president of NYSDA as well as ASDA. The also served in other offices over the years.

The 1970's welcomed a host of divers who described themselves as "River Members" (those who lived along or dove regularly in the St. Lawrence). There were tales of diving with the Buffalo Aqua Club on the "coin pile" in Lake Erie and of wrecks galore in the St. Lawrence River.

During the 1980's Underwater New York was sponsored by the Auburn Skin Divers and supported area clubs and NYSDA. It was held annually for eight years (1980-87).

  • The first three were held at the Civic Center in Syracuse, New York
  • The fourth at S/S Peter & John's in Auburn, New York (however that proved to be too small
  • The last four were held at the Holiday Inn in Auburn, New York.

This boasted an annual scholarship award as well as diving displays and an evening of entertainment with well known guest speakers like Mel Fisher from Treasure Dives on Atocha, Ellsworth Boyd from New Jersey (who is still a magazine writer today...writing about wreck facts), Stan Waterman and other professional filmmakers and pioneers in the diving world. We did turn over the sponsorship to NYSDA in the final years.

Since 1989 a mid-week diving schedule in local lakes (Skaneateles, Owasco and Cayuga)was adopted, with numerous members donating the use of their camps and boats for these mid-week adventures. This continues to be a weekly favorite.

In 1994, a special 35th anniversary event was held in cooperation with the United States Post Office and the Syracuse Stamp Club, stamping and canceling the Wonders of the Sea stamps issued in October 1994.

Current club activities include mid-week diving, participation in Environmental AWARE Dives, SCUBA Gear Sales, summer water fun weekends, Milfoil Removal Project, Diver-Down Awareness Campaign [posting of signs throughout central New York], Underwater Pumpkin Carving Dives, New Year's Eve/Day Dives, Christmas parties and organized dive trips from Tobemory, Canada to Turks and Caicos and many places in between.

Throughout our clubs history, we have recorded 500+ divers with a wide range of diving expertise [from junior divers - Instructors and many specialty certifications]. We continue to be a strong, active, vital club looking forward to the future and encouraging the enjoyment of the sport of SCUBA, promoting friendships, unity and safe diving opportunities.

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