PSAI - Philippines
.:   Big Lalaguna, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, 5203 Philippines
.:   +63 - 43 - 287 3179                        .:

PSAI History

The Professional Scuba Association International is one of the oldest technical scuba training agencies in the world. For many years it was a small, specialized organization that was predominantly involved with dive training associated with extended range deep air diving. Virtually all of the early history centers on the founder, Hal Watts.

The Professional Scuba Association (PSA) was originally founded as the Florida State Skin Diving Schools in 1962 by Hal Watts in Orlando, Florida. Hal's experience with scuba had begun in 1955 while he was attending college, earning a Master's Degree in law.

During the 1960's Hal became devoted to extended range diving and developing proven, effective diving techniques for dives to depths greater than the normal recreational range of 40 meters (132 feet). In 1967, using methods he developed, Hal set the World's Depth record by diving to 119 meters (390 feet) on air and was recognized in the Guinness Book of records. It should be noted, that as time went on, it was accepted that extremely deep air dives were indeed hazardous and the current records represent remarkable achievements. Unfortunately, the record is also at the very extreme edge of human physiological tolerance and so Guinness no longer publishes deep air records or attempts.

In 1970, Hal wrote and copyrighted the first manual for Extended Range deep Diving for instructors and conducted specialty classes for those interested. One of the projects that Hal wanted was a film, so he commissioned Ned DeLoach of New World Publications to produce a 16mm color film "Deep Diving" on location at Wakulla Springs, Florida.

Hal Watts formed a specialty diving club known as the "Forty Fathom Scubapros" that was very active diving all over Florida especially at a sink hole that just happened to be 40 fathoms (73 meters, 240 feet) deep! Many of the other divers and organizations simply were not prepared to understand the desire of these early pioneers, so the Scubapros continued largely in quiet. During the 1970s they continued refining techniques and skills to improve in deep diving activities.

PSA was in place as the "mainstream" technical agencies burst onto the scene in the mid 1980's. PSA continued their program of careful selection of instructors and adherence to safe diving techniques. Many of the agencies recognized PSA programs for their quality and afforded direct cross-over certification.

PSA now has its World Headquarters located in Ocala, Florida and is expanding its offerings to a variety of international offices. Long established in places such as America, Italy, The UK, and Czech Republic, PSA continues to grow as both instructors and divers enjoy the quality of education afforded by the carefully reviewed standards and procedures.

During organizational meetings in early 2005, the PSA course structure was reconfigured into course offerings. It was set up to include logical paths of their normal extended range programs, a traditional path of technical deep diving from Nitrox to Trimix and a Rebreather path. This technique gives the prospective student the direction and courses that fit their desired training objectives, without having to do unnecessary out of scope work. At the same time, every PSA student will receive the highest quality training from the highest quality instructors. PSA training and instruction is PEFORMANCE BASED!

PSAI ~ Not "One in a million - One of a Kind!"


Hall Watts


The Professional Scuba Association International

Gary Taylor

PSAI-Diving Education Based on a Solid History of Experience
with Innovative Leadership for the Future

Hal Watts, “World Record Deep Air Diver”
Gary Taylor, “Technical Dive Education Pioneer”

Hal Watts is the founder of The Professional Scuba Association International. His first experience with SCUBA was in 1955 when he was working toward a Master of Law Degree in Atlanta. GA. In 1967, he set a World Record Deep Air Dive to 119 meters (390), which was acknowledged in the Guinness Book of World Records. Hal holds the World Record Deep Air Cave Dive at 127 m (415 feet). He has trained six other world record deep air divers including his daughter Scarlett Watts who in 1999 established a new Woman’s World Record Deep Air Dive to 129 m (425 feet). Hal has taken 55 divers to depths between 100 m (300 feet) and 127 m (415 feet) with ZERO ACCIDENTS. In the 1960’s Hal introduced and named the “Octopus” second stage and coined the phrase. “PLAN YOUR DIVE-DIVE YOUR PLAN.

Gary Taylor has written many manuals for three different certification agencies: NASDS, IANTD & PSAI. His first experience with SCUBA was in 1969. During the 1970’s Gary was involved in much deep and cave exploration that took him beyond the standard norms of recreational SCUBA diving for the time into what we now call Extended Range Diving . Gary pioneered the use of Nitrox at Altitude and developed the Theoretical Ocean Air Depth (TOAD) methodology for the use of EANx at altitude as well as co-developed the “SRF” (SAC Ratio Factor) method of Gas matching. Gary has trained thousands of Sport & Technical divers, instructors and instructor trainers form all corners of the globe.

Hal and Gary have been friends for decades. They both were among the very first Trimix Instructors/Instructor Trainers in the world taking their training together. With similar philosophies on dive education and training it was natural for them to join forces. During the beginning of PSAI’s global expansion, Gary and Hal both saw the opening for the development of innovative educational/training materials for PSAI. Shortly after, Gary was put in charge of the Americas for PSAI. Within a year, Hal appointed Gary as the PSAI International Director of Education. With both Hal and Gary having such an in tune outlook and vision for the future of PSAI, it was natural that they take the next step of combined strength by joining in partnership in the push to continue to make PSAI the premier technical certification agency. PSAI is rapidly developing the next generation of Sport Diving material. We may not be the biggest, but we are the oldest and there are none better!

Call +63-43-2873179 © 2007 PSAI - Philippines .: Big Lalaguna, Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, 5203 Philippines ^