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Member News - Joe Odom heads up PSA International
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For Immediate Release - November 2, 2004


Joe Odom heads up PSA International!

Hal Watts, PSA International founder and CEO, is pleased to announce Joe Odom as President of PSA International, effective November 1, 2004.  Joe was formerly the International Training Director for Technical Diving International (TDI), Scuba Diving International (SDI) and Emergency Response Diving International (ERDI).  Joe has been diving since the mid 1960’s and teaching since the late 1970’s.  He came to the forefront of the industry due to his contributions in cave and mixed gas diving.  He is internationally recognized for his numerous understandable textbooks in the various areas of technical diving.  Joe has served two terms as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cave Diving Section of the National Speleological Society.  He remains an active instructor for the cave community through NSS and NACD.  Joe is highly regarded for first developing widely accepted and understandable recreational rebreather training.  Joe is probably best known for his unmistakable voice and unique teaching style.

Hal Watts says “I am so thrilled to have Joe leading PSA International.  I have been a friend, dive buddy, panelist and an educator, side by side with Joe for many years.  For just as many years, I had secretly hoped for this day.  I have the utmost respect for Joe and his abilities.  I have no doubts that with Joe in this leadership role PSA will be innovative and progressive with exciting programs for all divers.”

Joe simply said “How could I turn down such an honor from one of technical diving’s founders?  It will certainly be a pleasure to be a part of developing the enhanced PSA offerings. I think this even tops the penguins!”

Hal, a.k.a. Mr. Scuba, and his instructional staff began teaching technical diving in 1964.  PSA was the first technical agency, founded in 1981.  Hal is a co-founder of the NACD.  Hal was Training Director for NASDS.  During this time he coined the most used phrase in diving, PLAN YOUR DIVE~DIVE YOUR PLAN.  During the early 1960’s Hal introduced and named the “octopus” second stage.  He also has sat on the Advisory Boards for NAUI Technical, IANTD and SSI.  He has authored numerous books on topics from open water through extended range technical.  Hal was an expert witness during the Federal court proceeding, in Washington D.C., for the right of recreational extended range divers to dive the USS Monitor.  He was awarded the prestigious Diver of the Year for Education in 1996 by Beneath the Sea organization.  Hal has set two Guinness World Book Records and remains a World Record Holder for diving 415 ft. in a cave.  He has trained 6 other scuba World Record holders.  Hal’s reputation of excellence as one of the industries foremost authorities on technical diving is known worldwide.

Hal continues “Combine all this experience and energy and what do you get?  You, the instructor and diver will be on the receiving end of a refreshing approach to diving and exciting new programs. The PSA philosophy will remain the same.  We will continue to strive for safe and fun diving for all levels. ‘If you want to be a real diver, diving in the real world, PSA is for you’.  If this is a challenge in which you wish to be involved, stop, think and take control with PSA.” 

*Keep a look out for the new PSA International logo, soon to be EVERYWHERE.

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