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Cheers Oceaneers! #3 – w/Kevin Hardy: “Sealab III: The Divers’ Story”

July 10 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

# Cheers Oceaneers!

Welcome to the third episode of monthly meetings for the IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society (OES), San Diego Chapter, which is hosting this meeting jointly along with TMA (The Maritime Alliance) and MTS (Marine Technology Society).

Please join us for networking and friendly conversation about everything oceanic, engineering, science, Blue Tech, and more, while enjoying pizza and drinks. No need to be an IEEE or OES member, or TMA, or MTS. Everyone is invited.
This month, we have a special guest speaker, Kevin Hardy. See below for details.

July 10th, 2024, Wednesday
(Note: Monthly every 2nd Wednesday)
Leucadia Pizzeria & Italian Restaurant
La Jolla / University City
7748 Regents Rd
San Diego, CA 92122
The enclosed patio is reserved for our group.
No ticket required, but please order something for yourself from the restaurant.
The food and drinks are not being funded by the hosts. Please open your own tab.

5:30pm: Arrival/Networking
6:00pm – 6:15pm: OES, TMA, and MTS announcements
6:15pm – 6:45pm: Sealab III presentation by Kevin Hardy
6:45pm – 7:00pm: “open mic” (but there isn’t a microphone) for any other attendees to present anything they like (ocean-related, of course).
[Examples: employers presenting opportunities for employment, job seekers presenting a quick bio, internship program opportunities, promoting other events, seeking funding, “show and tell” of any cool technology you are working on, etc.]
7:00pm – 8:00pm: Networking

Enjoy some pizza and drinks and chatting with fellow oceanic engineering enthusiasts.
RSVPs are appreciated, but not required. In your response, please indicate whether you are member of OES, TMA, and/or MTS.

Presentation details:

SEALAB III: The Divers’ Story

In February 1969, on the lee side of San Clemente Island off Los Angeles, SEALAB III was lowered to the seafloor 610-ft below the surface. It was the third in a series of USN Man-in-the-Sea projects. Over a dozen years, USN Captain George Bond, and his second in command, Capt. Walter Mazzone, had labored to advance the science of saturation diving from theory to practice. It was a giant leap forward in deep sea diving. But with tragic implications, for SEALAB III, Bond and Mazzone were assigned advisory roles to a line officer, Capt. William Nicholson, who had little knowledge and less experience with saturation diving and large program management.

It didn’t go well.

In preparation for SEALAB III, 60 divers trained, 45 divers were assigned to five dive teams, four men rode the Personnel Transfer Capsule to the bottom twice, three emerged, two touched the habitat during two dives that lasted between 7 and 15 minutes, and one of them died.

In an epic miscarriage of justice, a single enlisted man was assigned full responsibility for the death by a USN Board of Inquiry. Attention in the media shifted to the upcoming Apollo 11 Moon landing, and the unsettled matter subsided from public memory.
This is the story as told by the men below the keel.

Kevin Hardy

As a youth, Kevin was inspired by the USN’s Project Nekton/bathyscaph Trieste, WWII diesel electric submarines, and SEALAB II, deployed in 1965 at 205-ft off the coast of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He worked a full career and retired from Scripps Institution in 2012. He remains involved with the ocean community as a journalist for the Journal of Diving History and the Marine Technology Reporter, and as founder of Global Ocean Design, a San Diego company specializing in unmanned ocean landers. He is a member of both IEEE-OES and MTS, and served as MTS-SD Chair twice.


Leucadia Pizza UTC / La Jolla
7748 Regents Rd
San Diego, CA 92122 United States
+ Google Map


Leucadia Pizza UTC / La Jolla
7748 Regents Rd
San Diego, CA 92122 United States
+ Google Map