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  • Writer's pictureSharks4Kids

Meet CDR & Underwater Explorer Joseph Dituri Ph.D.

CDR Joseph Dituri enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1985. He has served continuously on active service upon various ships and shore stations where he was involved in saturation diving and ship repair. In 1995 he made his way up through the ranks after earning his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of South Carolina and was commissioned into the Special Operations Officer pipeline. He was a Diving Officer at Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One and the Operations & Salvage Officer onboard USS Salvor.

Following completion of his masters he was assigned as Officer-in-Charge Deep Submergence Unit (DSU) Diving Systems Detachment (DSD). Under his command DSD won the white “DS” award for deep submergence excellence and certified the 2000 fsw Atmospheric Diving System for fleet use. Concurrently he was the Program Manager’s Representative for NAVSEA PMS 394 the Submarine Rescue Diving & Recompression System (SRDRS). Upon fielding and initial testing, the team introduced the SRDRS into Naval service and took it on two international engagements. During this tour Joseph earned the DAWIA certification of Level III in Program Management. He transferred from DSU after fleeting up to become the Executive Officer and designing the transfer under pressure saturation diving template for Navy Submarine Rescue.

His final position in the US Navy was at Special Operations Command in Special Operations Research Development and Acquisition Center Program Executive Officer - Maritime Systems where he served as the Chief Engineer, Program Manager for Undersea Systems Technical & Certification Program as well as deputy Program Manager for Combat Craft. During this tour Joseph earned the DAWIA certification of Level III in System's Engineering. CDR Dituri’s personal awards include three Navy Achievement Medals, a Joint Service Achievement Medal, an Army Commendation Medal, and four Navy Commendation Medals. a Joint Service Commendation Medal and a Joint Meritorious Service Medal.

1. What is your favorite shark and why?

The goblin shark because they are quite elusive and have great tenacity and oh by the way they dive very deep.

2. What is one species of shark you would like to snorkel/dive with?

The whale shark just because of the sheer enormity of it. It is quite interesting seeing something 10 times you are size and realizing that you coexist on the same planet.

3. Why did you start scuba diving?

I was about 10 years old and my father had a boat that was too big to pull out of the water and he needed the zinc tab replaced on the shaft. He gave me an old double hose regulator and a backpack and said just don't hold your breath. After that I was completely hooked on the underwater world.

Shark diving?

I started appreciating seeing sharks when I was in Hawaii. They're grace and beauty on the water was almost like a ballet.

4. What has been a really cool/favorite underwater moment with sharks?

I was coming up from a very deep dive in between Molokai and Oahu. We are a bit lost and things had gone very poorly on the dive. Two hammerheads were circling us on the way up... My dive buddy and I. They were juveniles so they were just interested in what we were doing and I did not feel threatened but I felt very much that they were taking care of us.

5. Do you think diving and divers can help ocean conservation?



Our job is to observe and see our impact on the environment. Diving below the water's edge is the only way to get us to see what impact we're having and make positive changes such that we impact the environment less. 6. What do you love most about diving with sharks? I envy their command over the aquatic environment and their ability to generate speed and maneuverability through the ocean. I watch in awe as they maneuver and glide effortlessly.

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