Oregon Coast Aquarium Held Diving Demo Tour and Rally, Received Award

April 16, 2013

Newport, Oregon— Hundreds of novice to expert scuba divers took a plunge into the best shore dive on the Oregon coast April 12-14 at the Diving Unlimited International DOG Rally & Demo Tour. The event, hosted by the Oregon Coast Aquarium in its Passages of the Deep exhibits, received an award in appreciation of the 10 years the Aquarium has hosted the event.

Dick Long, the founder and owner of Diving Unlimited International, awarded the Aquarium the honor during the Saturday night reception. Vallorie Hodges, Dive Safety Officer for the Aquarium, said, “He is one of the iconic figures in the diving industry, his presence really reinforced the value of what we are doing with the dive program here.”

Hodges also added, “We wouldn’t be able to do events like this without our incredible volunteers. This award is all about the volunteers and their dedication and passion for what they are doing.”

The DUI Dog Rally and Demo Tour is an opportunity for participants to try the latest dry suit technology in the Aquarium’s Passages of the Deep exhibits. Mark Wilson, an instructor at Eugene Skin Divers Supply, who dove the Aquarium for the first time on Friday of the event said, “It’s great just to know we are in the Aquarium and then to have so many sharks in a concentrated area and clear water to see them easily. The animals are impressive – they are just magnificent.”

The weekend also featured an underwater photography class and presentation taught by Amos Nachoum, an award-winning big animal photographer. Nachoum told attendants that aspiring wildlife photographers need, “Passion, patience, persistence,” to capture the images they seek. He provided his own experience when he recently photographed the hunting behavior of sea eagles; three weeks of careful effort in the field produced two stunning images. The challenges and photos Nachoum shared of his journey to both poles and around the globe inspired the divers in attendance.

“He reminded us all why we jump off a perfectly good boat into frigid water. Through these programs and photographs we can share the underwater world and its message with the people who can’t make these excursions.” said Hodges. To see Nachoum’s portfolio or to learn more about the expeditions he offers visit http://biganimals.com/.

Those that missed the Demo Tour can still immerse themselves in this world-class marine education attraction with the Aquarium’s diving experiences available to guests throughout the year. The unforgettable underwater adventure includes professional dive guides to ensure the best possible experience in the Aquarium’s Passages of the Deep exhibits. The package also includes a fish identification training session, a Behind the Scenes tour, Aquarium admission entry pass and a photograph to commemorate the experience. More information about the Oregon Coast Aquarium’s guest diving programs is available at www.divetheaquarium.org.

For more information on the DUI Demo Tour and dry suit technology visit http://www.dui-online.com.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in Newport on the beautiful Oregon Coast. Our mission is to inspire the public to better understand, cherish and conserve marine and coastal ecosystems. The Aquarium is a member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. It has been named one of the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. Visit us at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR. www.aquarium.org, 541-867-3474. Follow us on Facebook.com/OregonCoastAquarium for the latest updates.

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