My career as a commercial diver all started one day when my uncle gave me a pair of dive gloves for my birthday. At the time I had just turned 19 years old.
I was wondering, "What in the world will I ever use these gloves for?"
A few months later I had just broken up with my girlfriend of two years and needed a change. I thought, "Hey, Iíll take a dive course just to see what scuba diving is all about."
I found a passion in this new hobby. I was soon certified at Undersea Divers Inc. in Beverly, Massachusetts after an eight-week dive course consisting of classroom assignments, pool dives, open water beach and boat dives. I always had my own boat, so after purchasing all my dive equipment I went out for my first diving experience after my certification. .
I was heading out of Marblehead Harbor on a bright sunny day one August afternoon. I heard a local fishermen yell, "Hey, Dougie!"
It was Peter Fadden, a lobstermen from Marblehead. He had a rope caught in his propeller and wanted me to clear it out for him. I untangled the rope for him and he asked me what I wanted for payment.
"Donít worry about it," I replied.
He insisted, "No, really, how much do you want?"
"How about $10.00," I finally suggested.
"Hereís twenty." How could I say no?
I was also taking college courses at Salem State for Psychology so the local fishermen who knew I was a psych student as well as a diver nick-named me "Dr. Dougie the Diver!"
From that day, they call me Dougie the Diver. My career as a diver grew from curiosity and a pair of dive mitts to a dive job in a small fishing community of Marblehead Harbor. I have a 13-foot Boston Whaler moored in the harbor and my loyal Golden Retriever dive mate, Scruffy, ready for the task.
I am connected with the local Marblehead and Beverly Harbormaster by way of cell phone, and can be reached by other methods of contact as well.